Amid rising tension in France following the murder of a teacher, police have confirmed two Muslim women were stabbed at the Eiffel Tower over the weekend.
Two female suspects are said to have called the women “Dirty Arabs” after an argument broke out about putting the attackers’ dogs on a leash, with the white suspects of “European appearance” then pulling out knives and stabbing the women of Algerian descent.
The assailants now face attempted murder charges on foot of the attack, after one of the victims was slashed on the skull, back and arm.
“We had gone out for a walk. At the level of the Eiffel Tower there is a small rather dark park, we took a little tour in it. As we walked, there were two dogs that come towards us,” one of the victims, 49 year-old Kenza, told Liberation newspaper.
“The children got scared. My cousin, who was veiled, asked the two women if it was possible to keep their dogs with them because the children were afraid.”
After refusing, “one of the two took out a knife, she slashed me on the skull, on the back on the ribs and there was a third blow on the arm,” said Kenza. “They then attacked my cousin.”
Kenza was reportedly taken to hospital with a punctured lung having been stabbed six times, whilst her friend Amel had to have surgery done on her hand.
Two local shopkeepers held one of the attackers down until police arrived at the scene, whilst the other suspect was arrested later.
Witnesses told police they heard shouts including “Dirty Arab” and “Go home to your own country”, among other things.
The incident comes as French authorities deal with the beheading of 47-year-old Samuel Paty, who was killed last Friday north of Paris after showing cartoons of Muhammad to his secondary school class.