Paris officials seek clues, motive in stabbing

President Francois Hollande, in Ethiopia, said the Paris stabbing did not appear linked with the London attack.

Tiksa Negeri/Reuters

President Francois Hollande, in Ethiopia, said the Paris stabbing did not appear linked with the London attack.

PARIS — French antiterrorism investigators were combing video surveillance tapes Sunday as they continued their hunt for a suspect who stabbed a soldier in the throat in the commercial district of La Defense outside Paris.

The 23-year-old soldier, Cedric Cordier, was in uniform patrolling the busy underground corridors where shops and crowded public transport lines converge beneath the famous Arch of La Defense.


Saturday’s stabbing came days after a British soldier was hacked to death on a London street in a suspected terrorist attack that has raised fears of potential copycat strikes. However, there was no immediate confirmation of any link between the attacks.

French police have surveillance video of a suspect taken before and after the attack. There are security cameras throughout the underground shopping center, according to one police official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss terrorism investigations.

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The official, who has not seen the videos, said investigators describe the suspect as tall. He couldn’t provide any other description. Police are going over videos to try to identify the suspect, trace his escape route, and determine whether he was acting alone, the official said.

Cordier remained hospitalized Sunday, but officials said his throat wound was not life-threatening.

Speaking shortly after the attack while on an official visit to Ethiopia, President Francois Hollande said that while ‘‘all hypotheses’’ will be investigated, there didn’t appear to be a link with Wednesday’s deadly attack in London.

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