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French soldier stabbed in throat outside Paris

By Lori Hinnant

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:35 a.m. HST, May 25, 2013

PARIS » A French soldier was stabbed in the throat in a busy commercial district outside Paris today, and the government said it was trying to determine if there were any links with the bloody killing of a British soldier by suspected Islamic extremists.

French President Francois Hollande said the identity of the attacker, who escaped, was unknown and cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the assault on the uniformed soldier in the La Defense shopping area. The life of the 23-year-old soldier was not in danger, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

On Wednesday, British soldier Lee Rigby, 25, was brutally stabbed on a London street in broad daylight in a suspected terrorist attack that has raised fears of potential copycat strikes.

The French soldier was on a group patrol as part of a national protection program when he was attacked from behind, prosecutor Robert Gelli told BFM-TV. The assailant did not say a word, Gelli told Europe 1.

"There are elements — the sudden violence of the attack — that could lead one to believe there might be a comparison with what happened in London," Interior Minister Manuel Valls told France 2 television. "But at this point, honestly, let us be prudent."

Rigby was attacked while walking outside the Royal Artillery Barracks in the Woolwich area of south London.

The gruesome scene was recorded on witnesses' cellphones, and a video emerged in which one of the two suspects — his hands bloodied — boasted of their exploits and warned of more violence as the soldier lay on the ground. Holding bloody knives and a meat cleaver, the suspects waited for police, who shot them in the legs, witnesses said.

In the video, one of the suspects declared, "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you ... We must fight them as they fight us."

Two Muslim hard-liners have identified that suspect as Michael Adebolajo, a Christian who converted to Islam and attended several London demonstrations organized by banned British radical group al-Muhajiroun.

French security forces have been on heightened alert since their country launched a military intervention in the African nation of Mali in January to regain territory seized by Islamic radicals. British Prime Minister David Cameron was himself in Paris meeting with Hollande when he first received word of the London attack.

Last year, three French paratroopers were killed by a man police describe as a French-born Islamic extremist who then went on to strike a Jewish school in the south of France, killing four more people.

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allie wrote:
Islamic extremists are many in Paris. They really let way too many of these zeros in. Far too liberal immigration policies
on May 25,2013 | 11:23AM
peanutgallery wrote:
The lack of out-spoken Muslim clerics denouncing this behavior speaks volumes about Muslims in general. It's time to just call a spade a spade. This religion has gone off the rails. Way off the rails. None of the Muslim leaders de-cry these atrocities, and that in itself is deafening.
on May 25,2013 | 11:28AM
all_fed_up wrote:
Well said
on May 25,2013 | 12:44PM
Pocho wrote:
Muslim is a Great Religion to live by.
on May 25,2013 | 03:33PM
cojef wrote:
Do you mean Islam?
on May 25,2013 | 05:01PM
st1d wrote:
at least we can sleep at night, knowing that we are safer now that obama has defeated al qaeda.
on May 26,2013 | 12:33AM
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