A French soldier was beaten to the ground and slashed with a box-cutter (stanley knife) last night by two men shouting about the Middle East, according to news reports in local media.
The unidentified soldier of the 8th Paratrooper Regiment was in uniform but off duty at the time of the attack on Thursday evening in the Pyrenees town of Saint-Julien-du-Puy. A police spokesman has now confirmed the attack took place after early speculation, reports Le Express.
It is reported two men approached the soldier, who was exercising himself running and was approximately 18 miles away from his barracks, and held him up at knife point. Shouting at him about French military intervention in Syria — the men accused him of “the French bombing” — they beat and stabbed the soldier.
The soldier was said to be in “serious condition” last night having been slashed twice, at least once in the thigh. He was discovered by walkers at approximately half past eight in the evening, reports Europe1. Despite the potential terror implications of the attack, news of the stabbing only became public this morning.
At least one of the attackers is reported to be already known to police for narcotics offences.