Police Officer Survives Knife Attack in Cannes; Assailant Claims Motivation "in the Name of the Prophet"
In the French Riviera city of Cannes, a policeman narrowly escaped a knife attack on Monday, reportedly carried out by an assailant who claimed to be acting "in the name of the Prophet," according to a police source. The officer emerged unharmed, protected by a bulletproof vest, as confirmed by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. The attacker, an Algerian national with an Italian residency permit, sustained life-threatening injuries after being shot by other officers. Despite legally residing in France and not being on a watchlist for Islamist sympathies, the assailant's motives remain unclear.
With President Emmanuel Macron facing the challenge of reassuring voters about his government's control over security and violent crime, the incident comes six months before critical elections. Conservative lawmaker Eric Ciotti labeled the attack as terrorism, though no evidence was provided. The local prosecutor, not the national anti-terrorism prosecutor, is currently handling the investigation, and Darmanin emphasized that it's too early to determine the suspect's motive.
Cannes Mayor David Lisnard condemned the incident as "sickening" in the glitzy Mediterranean resort known for hosting the annual Cannes Film Festival. The attacker targeted a police car parked outside a police station, stabbing the officer at the wheel before attempting to attack another policeman inside. A third officer intervened, opening fire and seriously wounding the assailant. According to reports, the suspect claimed to have carried out the attack "in the name of the Prophet" Mohammad, suggesting potential links to Islamist militancy. The incident coincides with the ongoing trial of Salah Abdeslam, the lone survivor of a Daesh cell responsible for the 2015 Paris attacks.