Man ar­rested in paris af­ter knife at­tack on sol­dier

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - International -

a knife-wield­inG man at­tacked a sol­dier in Paris on Friday, the lat­est as­sault to raise ques­tions over whether France’s an­titer­ror pa­trols are a tar­get for mil­i­tants.

The sol­dier, who was part of an anti-ter­ror­ism op­er­a­tion known as Sen­tinelle, rapidly tack­led the man and was un­in­jured. The at­tacker was taken into cus­tody.

The in­ci­dent came with France still on high alert fol­low­ing a string of ter­ror at­tacks which be­gan in Jan­uary 2015 when ji­hadist gun­men stormed the of­fices of satir­i­cal weekly Char­lie Hebdo, killing 12. The govern­ment launched Op­er­a­tion Sen­tinelle af­ter that at­tack, de­ploy­ing some 7,000 troops across the coun­try to guard high-risk areas such as tourist sites and re­li­gious build­ings. Since then the troops have been at­tacked seven times, in­clud­ing last month when a man rammed a car into a group of sol­diers in the Paris sub­urbs, in­jur­ing six.

Though much smaller in scale than the 2015 Is­lamic State at­tacks in Paris and last year’s truck at­tack in Nice, the re­peated as­saults on sol­diers have sparked crit­i­cism that their pa­trols have be­come a tar­get. But de­fense min­is­ter Florence Parly said the fact that the at­tacker was swiftly brought un­der con­trol Friday was “proof of the pro­fes­sion­al­ism and ef­fi­ciency of the Sen­tinelle sol­diers in their mis­sion to pro­tect”.

In March, a man was shot dead at the cap­i­tal’s Orly air­port af­ter at­tack­ing troops.

Friday’s at­tack came a day af­ter In­te­rior Min­is­ter Ger­ard Col­lomb said the Sen­tinelle op­er­a­tion would “evolve” but ruled out cuts to troop num­bers. “We want to re­de­ploy it to do bet­ter against the threat we are fac­ing to­day,” Col­lomb said, adding there would be changes to the way the force is or­ga­nized. The mil­i­tary has al­ready shifted to­wards mo­bile pa­trols and away from post­ing troops out­side build­ings on per­ma­nent watch. Crit­ics ar­gue that the pa­trols have done lit­tle to in­crease se­cu­rity and that troops are placed at un­nec­es­sary risk for an op­er­a­tion largely aimed at re­as­sur­ing the pub­lic.

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