2 arrested in Paris stabbing near the former Charlie Hebdo office | Voice of America

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PARIS – France has opened an investigation for terrorism following a knife attack on Friday that seriously injured two people near the former Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper. Two suspects have been arrested.The parallels between the January 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo and the latter are scary. Once again, journalists were targeted – two members of the French production agency Premieres Ligne, who were stabbed while taking a cigarette break outside.

The group worked in the same building as Charlie Hebdo former siege before the 2015 incident. And the attack took place while a trial is underway for alleged accomplices in the Charlie Hebdo murders.

Speaking to reporters at the scene, Paris prosecutor Rémy Heitz said police had arrested two people, including the alleged leader of the latest strikes.

And because of all the parallels with the Charlie Hebdo attacks five years ago, he said, anti-terrorism prosecutors in Paris are investigating.

Islamist attackers killed 12 people in the January 2015 strikes, including Charlie Hebdo cartoonists.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex reaffirmed France’s support for press freedom and its determination to fight terrorism by all possible means.

French police officers patrol the area after a knife attack near the former offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris, September 25, 2020.

Charlie Hebdo recently received new death threats – French media signing an open letter supporting the newspaper and freedom of expression. Friday morning, a suspicious package would have arrived in the former offices of the weekly.

Police briefly cordoned off the site of the attack, while a small crowd watched.

A 72-year-old Parisian named Gerard, who declined to give his last name, said he believed France was being targeted because of its Barkhane counterterrorism force in Africa’s Sahel region.

Another local resident, Lili, who recently moved here from China, was unable to return home due to police blockades.

“It’s so hard to live here, because we have COVID-19 and the economic downturn, and now this,” she said.

Delivery guy Luis Cuevas said people don’t feel comfortable here anymore. You need to check for suspicious bags on public transport, be careful on the street – and now COVID-19. We live in unsanitary times, he said.

The attack comes as the government prepares new legislation to tackle so-called “separatism” – what it sees as enemies of France and its way of life, including radical Islam.

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