UPDATE 1-Assailant halted by local people after injuring seven in Paris knife attack
French police detained a man who wounded seven people in a knife attack in central Paris late on Sunday, police and judicial sources said on Monday, adding there was no initial indication the incident was linked to terrorism.
The attacker, who one police source said was from Afghanistan, stabbed tourists and passersby along the Bassin de la Villette, a popular outdoor canal area in the northeast of Paris where many people gather on warm evenings.
Witnesses cited by French media said a group of men playing boules threw heavy metal balls that are used in the popular game at the attacker, with one hitting him on the head and stalling him.
Thierry, a witness quoted on BFM TV, said a group of people then assailed the attacker.
"Someone with a wooden stick smashed him across the knees and he fell to the ground," he said. "Loads of people arrived, some were saying 'kill him' but one guy who was pinning him down said 'no, the last thing we must do is kill him.'"
Police and ambulance crews arrived on the scene shortly afterward, witnesses said, and the man was taken into custody.
Paris has suffered a number of militant attacks since November 2015, when a series of coordinated strikes by Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers killed 129 people in the capital, an assault planned by the Islamic State and its adherents. (Reporting by Inti Landauro and Richard Lough; Writing by Luke Baker; Editing by Brian Love and David Stamp)
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