A suspect ‘of Pakistani or Afghan origin’ began ‘slashing passers-by’ on the Loire Quay in the north of the city on Sunday night, according to reports.

The knifeman, who was also armed with a metal bar, first stabbed three people outside the MK2 cinema complex, "including two English tourists", according to investigators.

One was particularly badly hurt after being "stabbed in the head",  while the other was "cut in the chest".

Petanque players who saw what happened then intervened, throwing metal balls at the attacker, but it was reportedly not enough to stop him.

He injured four others, before a police night patrol appeared, and arrested the unnamed man at the scene.

An attempted murder case has been launched by judicial police, with Paris prosecutors opening an official enquiry, according to Le Parisien.

There was no initial confirmation of a terrorist motive for the latest bloodshed.

The victims were all rushed to local hospitals, where their conditions were described as "serious but not life threatening".

The attacker is not thought to have been badly injured by officers.


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