Seven Wounded in Paris Knife Attack

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French authorities have opened an investigation on suspicion of attempted murder after a man injured seven people in a knife attack in central Paris late Sunday, a judicial official said Monday.

Two British tourists were among those injured, broadcaster BFMTV and Le Parisien newspaper reported. The area is popular with locals and tourists, who frequent the cafes, cinemas and other cultural venues along its banks.

Witnesses cited by French media said a group of men playing boules threw heavy metal balls that are used in the popular game at the attacker, with one hitting him on the head and stalling him.

"This is not being treated as a terrorist attack", he said.

Witnesses told AFP that after the initial stabbings, people started chasing the man through the street. They and two others remain in hospital with severe wounds, although they are not thought to be life-threatening.

A source close to the inquiry said the suspect has been arrested and is believed to be an Afghan national.

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The victim involved in the incident was brought to a different hospital to be treated for injuries sustained in the incident, police said.

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Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo thanked police for arresting the man and the petanque players who intervened.

Four people were injured seriously in the attack. "We had the (petanque) balls with us, so we had a weapon, like him", Hamani said.

Police said investigators "very quickly" dismissed a terrorist motive after the August 13 incident.

France has seen smaller lone-wolf attacks in recent months.

Sources said the man had attacked strangers, initially stabbing two men and a woman near the MK2 cinema on the Quai de Loire, along the Ourcq canal.

More than 240 people have been killed by Islamist extremists since a massacre at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris in January 2015.

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