At least two people have been seriously injured in a knife or machete attack this Friday outside the former office of the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly in Paris.
French media has reported that two suspects have been arrested in relation to the attack. Paris police headquarters have stated that the victims’ lives were not in danger and that no one else was injured during the attack.
The victims are a man and woman who are working at Premières Lignes, a TV documentary company based in the same building as Hebdo’s former offices.
According to founder Pauel Moreira, the attacker fled to a subway station, BFM TV reports. Moreira stated that a man had attacked two people in front of the building. The suspect did not enter the premises, only attacked the victims and left. He also stated that the company did not receive any threats prior to the attack.
An employee of Premières Lignes told Agence France-Presse: “Two colleagues were smoking cigarettes in the street. I heard screams. I went to the window and saw a colleague, bloodied, being chased by a man with a machete.”
Witness Kader Alfa told the Associated Press that he saw “a man that was in his 30s or 40s with an axe in his hand, walking behind a victim covered in blood.”
A man reportedly wearing bloodstained clothing and carrying a large machete or knife was detained near the Place de la Bastille in eastern Paris shortly after the attack. French media reported a second suspect has been arrested near the Richard Lenoir metro station in relation to the attack. France’s counter-terrorism prosecutors’ office said it has opened an investigation into attempted murder in relation to a terrorist enterprise.
Motives for the attack on Friday morning are still unclear.
Charlie Hebdo moved from its previous address on the Rue Nicolas-Appert after the attack by Islamic extremists in 2015 in which several of its staff were among 12 people killed.