Two women stabbed under the Eiffel Tower in suspected racist attack in Paris
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An attempted murder enquiry has been opened in Paris after two Muslim cousins were “stabbed repeatedly” underneath the Eiffel Tower, prosecutors revealed today.
French police have arrested two female suspects following the suspected racist attacks in which the women were subject to a racial slur.
The suspected in custody – who have not been named – are described as being white women of “European appearance”, who now face attempted murder charges, city prosecutors said.
It follows rising tensions in France after the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty , 47, in the Paris suburbs last Friday by a radicalised terrorist angry that cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed had been shown to children.
Members of France’s five million-plus Muslim community have complained of increased Islamophobia caused by a government clampdown on mosques and Muslim organisations.
The victims of the latest attacks on Sunday have been identified as French women from an Algerian background, named only as Kenza, 49, and Amel, who is a few years younger.
Kenza was stabbed six times and ended up in hospital with a punctured lung, while surgery was carried out on one of Amel’s hands, according to a source.
No information was initially released about the attack, leading to uproar on social media, where confirmed images from the scene circulated. A chilling video recorded screaming as the stabbings were carried out on Sunday evening.
On Monday, Paris police released a statement which read: “On October 18, at around 8pm, the police intervened following an emergency call from two women wounded by knives on the Champs-de-Mars (by the Eiffel Tower).”
A source at the Paris prosecutors’ office confirmed on today: “An investigation for attempted murder has been opened in connection with the stabbings.”
Kenza told Liberation newspaper: “We were a family, five adults in all and four children.
“We had gone out for a walk. At the level of the Eiffel Tower there is a small rather dark park, we took a little tour in it.
“As we walked, there were two dogs that come towards us. The children got scared. My cousin, who was veiled, asked the two women if it was possible to keep their dogs with them because the children were afraid.”
The dog owners refused to put their animals on a leash, and a furious argument followed – one that included racist insults.
It is then that the two women with the dogs allegedly pulled out a knife, and launched themselves at Kenza and Amel.
Two local shop workers then intervened and held one of the attackers down until the police arrived. The second suspect was arrested later.