PARIS: France opened a counter-terrorism inquiry after a man wielding a knife attacked a soldier in a Paris subway station on Friday, the latest incident targeting troops protecting the capital’s transport hubs and tourist sites.

Paris and other European capitals are on high alert after a wave of attacks in past years by groups, many of them inspired by the militant Islamic State group.

The Paris incident occurred hours before several people were hurt at a London underground station. Witnesses reported a blast which police were treating as a terrorism incident.

The assailant in Paris was wrestled to the ground and arrested. The soldier, part of Operation Sentinel, a force deployed in the wake of lethal Islamist attacks on France, escaped unhurt.

Police said the attack happened just before 6:30am as the morning rush hour got under way at the Chatelet subway station, where tens of thousands of commuters converge from Paris’s sprawling suburbs every day.

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner said the investigation was being handled by counter-terrorism specialists.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2017

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