A 19-year-old girl has been stabbed three times in Rennes, western France, in an attack carried out as an attempted “sacrifice” for Ramadan. Her injuries were not life-threatening.
The knife attack came just a day after a jihadist killed a French off-duty policeman and his partner in an attack witnessed by their three-year-old son.
An investigation has been opened into the attempted murder, following the girl being stabbed once in the abdomen and twice in the wrist. The assailant told a witness that he was a Muslim before handing over the knife.
He was arrested and immediately assessed by a doctor, who has sent him to a psychiatric hospital.
“Voices told him that he had to make a sacrifice on the occasion of Ramadan,” Rennes prosecutor Nicolas Jacquet told AFP.
According to Mr. Jacquet, the man has been in and out of psychiatric facilities a number of times and told investigators that he is being treated for schizophrenia. He was supposed to have received an injection as treatment on Tuesday.
The attack follows the double murder of Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, and Jessica Schneider, 36, who were killed on Monday by Larossi Abballa. In a video filmed in the couple’s home following the murder, Abballa called on his fellow Muslims to heed the calls of Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, an Islamic State spokesman, to target civilians during Ramadan.
And on Saturday a transgender Tunisian migrant living in Brussels, Belgium, was stabbed and beaten by two men claiming to be with Islamic State. The victim told the media: “They were the same people as in Tunisia. They told me that they are only awaiting an official command to behead me. I fear greatly for my life.”
In the wake of the attacks, the Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders has called on the authorities to recognise the Islamic nature of the terrorism. “Ramadan is the deadliest time of the year,” Mr. Wilders said. “We should acknowledge that Islam is the problem. Islam and freedom are incompatible. We must de-Islamize our Western societies”.
Echoing United States Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Mr. Wilders added: “We must close our borders to every immigrant from Islamic countries, every asylum seeker and every terrorist. It is time for new and brave leaders who adopt these policies.”
The French Front National party leader Marine Le Pen has also called for greater action, saying that it was now surely time to start “the relentless fight against Islamism”. She added: “The government does not protect the French.”
In response to Monday’s deadly attack, France’s police unions have announced that off-duty policemen will be able to carry weapons while off duty beyond the state of emergency declared after the November attacks, which is due to expire next month.