At least four children aged as young as three have been wounded after a Syrian asylum seeker went on the rampage with a knife in a park in France on Thursday morning.
The attacker struck close to Lake Annecy, in the east of country.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said: “Several people including children were injured by an individual armed with a knife in a square in Annecy. The individual was arrested thanks to the very rapid intervention of the police.”
Mr Darmanin confirmed that five people were wounded, including four young children, two of whom are in intensive care. The attacker was arrested by police soon afterwards following a brief struggle close to the park, which is in a square in the Alpine town.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “Attack of absolute cowardice this morning in a park in Annecy. Children and an adult are between life and death. The Nation is in shock. Our thoughts are with them as well as their families and the emergency services that mobilised.”
An investigating source said the attacker was Syrian asylum seeker named as Abdalmash H, aged 32.
An eyewitness, who asked not to be named, said: “The man was shouting in English, and caused absolute panic when he started attacking the little ones.
“He wanted to hurt as many people as he could. He caused carnage. The young children were just easy targets.”
François Astorg, the Mayor of Annecy, said: “Appalling attack this morning on the Paquier park in Annecy. All my thoughts to the victims and families.”
A local lawmaker, Antoine Armand, tweeted that children were attacked on a playground. He called the attack "abominable."
In Paris, lawmakers interrupted a debate to hold a moment of silence for the victims, BFMTV reported.