Paris knife attack suspect released

Police at the scene of an attack near the former Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.
Police at the scene of an attack near the former Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.

A suspected accomplice of a man believed to have attacked and wounded two people with a meat cleaver in front of a Paris office building has been released.

A judicial source has told Reuters another person close to the suspected attacker and believed to have been a former roommate in a hotel north of Paris had been arrested, following a series of other arrests on Friday evening.

On Saturday morning, seven people remained in custody including the suspected attacker.

Police say the suspected attacker is co-operating.

The attack took place in front of a building where Islamist militants gunned down employees of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in 2015.

It coincided with the start this month of the trial of 14 alleged accomplices in the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attack. The gunmen behind that attack killed 12 people.

Police quickly detained the man suspected of carrying out the attack next to the steps of an opera house about 500 metres away.

The suspected attacker was from Pakistan and arrived in France three years ago as an unaccompanied minor, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

A second suspect was detained moments after the attack and prosecutors were trying to establish his relation to the attacker. He was released free of charge.

Charlie Hebdo vacated its offices after the 2015 attack and is now in a secret location. The building is now used by a television production company.

Two of the production company's staff, a man and a woman, were in the street having a cigarette break when they were attacked, according to prosecutors and a colleague of the victims.

After the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo, investigators said the militants had wanted to avenge the publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad in the magazine.

Charlie Hebdo republished the cartoons on the eve of the trial.

Al-Qaeda, the militant Islamist group that claimed responsibility for the 2015 attack, threatened to attack Charlie Hebdo again after it republished the cartoons.

Australian Associated Press