TWO PEOPLE have been seriously hurt in a knife attack in Paris near the former offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, officials say.
A suspect has been detained in the nearby Bastille area. A second suspect has also been arrested, reports say.
Anti-terrorism police have taken over the investigation.
A security cordon has been set up in the 11th arrondissement in eastern Paris. The public were told to avoid the area.
A blade – described as a machete or a meat cleaver – was recovered at the scene of the attack near the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir.
One of the arrested suspects was detained with blood on his clothing, a police source told the BBC.
The condition of the victims has not been made public although French Prime Minister Jean Castex told reporters at the scene that their lives were not in danger.
The attack comes as a high-profile trial is under way in Paris of 14 people accused of helping two jihadists carry out the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, in which 12 people were killed.
The two people wounded were staff at a TV production company, one of their colleagues told AFP news agency.
“Two colleagues were smoking a cigarette outside the building, in the street. I heard shouting. I went to the window and saw one of my colleagues, covered in blood, being chased by a man with a machete in the street,” another member of staff at the Premières Lignes production firm said.
The firm has offices in the Rue Nicolas Appert, a side street off Boulevard Richard Lenoir where the former Charlie Hebdo offices are located. A mural to the 12 people killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack is nearby.
The satirical magazine has since moved to a secret location.
Mr Castex visited the scene accompanied by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.
At a news conference, anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard confirmed that the “main perpetrator” had been arrested and said a “second individual” was also in custody.
“The investigation will continue,” he said.
Charles Michel, President of the European Council and former Belgian PM, expressed his “full solidarity with the French people”.
“All my thoughts are with the victims of this cowardly act of violence. Terror has no place on European territory,” he tweeted.
Top: A local trader, who took this photo of a victim being treated, said there was panic outside his store. Photo: EVN/David Cohen
Below: French Prime Minister Jean Castex visited the scene flanked by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Photo: Reuters and published by BBC