• Riviera Insider editorial

Knife attack on Cannes police officers, assailant incapacitated

Thanks to bullet-proof vests, two police officers are uninjured. The attacker, shot and seriously injured by other officers, remains in hospital.

The central police station in Cannes where the attack took place.

At 6.35 am Monday morning, two police officers, a woman and a man, were stabbed with a knife, fortunately in their bullet-proof jackets, and have no physical injuries. Their two colleagues used their firearms to neutralise the assailant, who is currently hospitalised. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin immediately travelled to the festival city and as of yet, he will not say whether the attack was terrorist motivated.

According to the police, an unknown man approached a National Police car parked in front of the police station in Cannes (photo) with four police officers who were about to start their shift, pulled open the driver's door and stabbed the unsuspecting officer in the chest.

The assailant then walked around the vehicle to attack the police officer in the passenger seat. The two officers in the back seat used their firearms to disable the attacker. In the process, the attacker was critically injured. The four police officers, on the other hand, were physically unharmed but psychologically traumatised.

Witnesses reported that the 37-year-old Algerian attacker was repeating "in the name of the Prophet". Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who immediately went to the scene, was careful not to comment on this without further information. He only said that the man had his permanent residence in Italy for several years and had regularly commuted between Italy and France. He had applied for a residence permit for France, which had not been granted to him thus far. He had neither a criminal record nor was he known to the police. He was also not registered in any radicalisation file.

Mayor Lisnard on the scene of the knife attack in Cannes. Photo: Ville de Cannes Facebook page

Cannes Mayor, David Lisnard, who immediately rushed to the scene, later sent out a statement:

"First of all, I want to confirm, with the whole of the Cannes City Council, my full support to our police forces and particularly to the police officers who were attacked with a knife as well as to their colleagues who succeeded in controlling him.

Thanks to their great professionalism, their reactivity and their equipment, none of them were injured. The response was equal to the attack. In this respect, I have always defended the police when they were obliged to respond to an attack on their physical safety, as I have done on two occasions in recent months when municipal police officers had to use their firearms against their attackers.


I wish to reiterate the need for effective, methodical and constant government action, far from political theatre, rhetoric and collective emotion.

This action must be uncompromising at the police level and also at the judicial level in order to wage a merciless battle against all those who seek by any means to terrorise us, to subjugate us, to kill us."

-David Lisnard, Mayor of Cannes

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