French terrorism authorities are investigating a knife attack that wounded at least two people near the former offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Police and soldiers were seen flooding into the neighbourhood in the east of France’s capital, near the Richard Lenoir Metro station.
Officers cordoned off the area after a suspect package was noticed nearby, but French radio reported that no explosives were found.
A blade found at the scene was described by police sources as a machete or a meat cleaver.
“I saw a guy that was in his 30s or 40s with an axe in his hand who was walking behind a victim covered in blood…I can’t tell you how many victims there was, I just saw one,” witness Kader Alfa told The Associated Press.
An investigation has been opened into “attempted murder in relation with a terrorist enterprise”, according to an official at the prosecutor’s office.
The two people injured worked for documentary film company Premieres Lignes, according to founder Paul Moreira.
He told BFM television that the attacker fled into the subway, and the company’s staff members were evacuated.
It was originally reported that four people had been injured in the attack.
French media BFM TV and Le Figaro reported a suspect had been arrested on the steps of the Paris Bastille opera
A City Hall official said schoolchildren in nine schools in the area were being kept inside.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex arrived at the scene with Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Paris Mayor Anne
Islamist extremists attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices in 2015, killing 12 people.
The motive for this attack is unclear, and it is not known whether it is linked to Charlie Hebdo, which has moved its activities out of the area.
The attack comes three weeks after 14 people with suspected links to homegrown Islamist militants who attacked the Charlie Hebdo offices went on trial in Paris.
On the opening day of the trial, the magazine re-ran a series of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, which Muslims consider blasphemous.
The attackers’ widows are scheduled to testify this afternoon.