An Afghan asylum-seeker was arrested in the southwestern French town of Perigueux, injuring four people including one seriously in a knife attack, police said Tuesday. French authorities said the attack was not terror related, because the attacker was "mentally unstable".
Following the attack, the forensic police carried out extensive surveys to reconstruct the entire course of the scene. It will be up to the courts, as a result of the investigation, to determine whether the act was foreseeable and avoidable.
The Afghan randomly attacked passersby with a kitchen knife, but was arrested soon after.
The attack took place in a busy street of Périgueux, rue Victor Hugo, when the migrant, visibly agitated, long-haired and shirtless, started attacking pedestrians and motorists stopping at a red light. SAS 24 ambulance attendants who were passing by, stopped to try to calm the him down.
The two paramedics had tried to placate the Afghan. He then returned to his home but came back out armed with a knife and stabbed the two, leaving them with injuries to the head and neck.
He continued on his stabbing spree, injuring two brothers aged 64 and 68 living next door, leaving one with a perforated lung and the other with stab wounds to the back. One of the brothers eventually wrestled the knife from him.
The incident began Monday evening, head of the ambulance service for the area, Jean-Jacques Girard, told the regional Sud-Ouest daily.
According to Girard, the Afghan started “kicking and banging” one vehicle with his feet and fists, then a second one while “rounding on female motorists”.
Police arrested the Afghan and placed him in custody on charges of aggravated violence, but “ruled out any terrorist motive”.
The asylum seeker from Afghanistan lives in Bordeaux but was visiting his cousin living at 90 rue Victor Hugo with the l’Association Périgourdine d’Action et de Recherche sur l’Exclusion (APARE). His cousin was absent at the time.
A bottle of whiskey was found on the premises and he was alleged to have been under the influence of alcohol during the attack.
The Afghan arrived in France in 2016, still a minor. After having lived in Toulon, Paris and Bordeaux, an application for regularisation was filed on his behalf at the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII)
According to the mayor of Périgueux, Antoine Audi, the migrant was apparently known for having already manifested “psychological disorders”.
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