Two people were injured, one badly, in a knife attack in Paris Friday near the former offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, a source close to the investigation told AFP.
One suspect has been arrested near the Bastille plaza in eastern Paris, according to police. A second was arrested on the metro.
A security cordon has been erected around the former offices of Charlie Hebdo and bomb disposal experts were called in following the discovery of a package.
The stabbing came as a trial was underway in the capital for alleged accomplices of the authors of the January 2015 attack on the Charlie Hebdo weekly that claimed 12 lives.
Several schools in the sector were closed with staff and pupils inside as precautionary measure.
The attack comes in the wake of multiple death threats made against Charlie Hebdo employees. The head of Human Resources said earlier this week she was given "10 minutes" to leave her home after police received credible death threats.
European Council President tweets support
The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, sent a message of support to France.
"All my thoughts are with the victims of this act of cowardly violence. Terror has no place on the territory of Europe," the former Belgian premier wrote in a tweet. "Full solidarity with the French people during this new ordeal."
Nouvelle attaque à l’arme blanche devant les anciens locaux de #CharlieHebdo.— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) September 25, 2020
Toutes mes pensées vont aux victimes de cet acte de violence lâche.
La terreur n’a pas de place sur le territoire européen.
Pleine solidarité avec le peuple français dans cette nouvelle épreuve.
French authorities give statements
"The principle assailant has been arrested and a second suspect is currently being detained for questioning," according to Jean-François Ricard, the Paris anti-terror prosecutor.
Regarding the condition of the injured: "Their lives are not in danger, thank the Lord," said Jean Castex, the Prime Minister. He confirmed the two victims were journalists who were on a cigarette break at the time.
Mr Castex also issued a "resolute" pledge to fight terrorism "in all its forms".
He added the incident "took place in a symbolic place just as the trial of the perpetrators of the awful attacks on Charlie Hebdo is taking place".
School lockdown now lifted
Police have lifted the lockdown of local schools following the arrests.
Some 125 schools had been confined in the 3rd, 4th and 11th arrondissements.
Jean Castex, the French prime minister, and interior minister Gérald Darminin, are currently at the scene of the attacks, along with the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
One attacker 'born in Pakistan'
One of the attackers was born in Pakistan, according to French Radio Europe 1
First arrested suspect 'born in 2002'
The suspect arrested with blood on his clothes on the steps of Bastille opera was born in 2002, says BFMTV.
The suspect is believed to be 18 years old.
Second suspect arrested 'on metro'
The second suspect was arrested in the metro, according to BFM TV.
One eyewitness told RTL that the assailant dropped his weapon - an axe or meat cleaver - at the Richard Lenoir metro entrance before making his escape.
Charlie Hebdo trial 'suspended'
The Charlie Hebdo trial was suspended minutes after the attack, according to reports, although it is unclear if the suspension had anything to do with the incident.
Suspect will be questioned over 'terrorism'
The suspected attacker, who has been arrested, will be questioned over "attempted murder related to terrorism" and "conspiracy with terrorists," the anti-terror prosecutors office said.
First suspect arrested 'did not match' witness description
According to a police source cited by France Info, the first suspect arrested with blood on his clothes “didn’t correspond to eyewitness descriptions of the assailant”.
Second suspect arrested
A second suspect has now been apprehended by police, according to local media.
Police treating incident as 'terrorist attack'
Police are treating the attack as terrorist as the anti-terror prosecutor has taken control of the case.
Al-Qaeda 'threatened attacks' on Charlie Hebdo
Al-Qaeda recently threatened Charlie Hebdo with fresh attacks.
In its publication One Ummah it said the magazine would be mistaken if it believed the 2015 attack was a 'one off', after the magazine printed the 'contemptible caricatures' in a defiant issue that marked the start of the trial in Paris of suspected accomplices in the attack.
Latest pictures from the scene
Witnesses describe attacker
At around 12.30pm local time, police arrested a suspect with "blood on his clothes".
According to witnesses cited by Le Parisien, a suspect was wearing a sleeveless puffer jacket.
"Thousands" of pupils are currently confined in five schools that have been shut and barricaded in the area. Retirement homes have also been shut, along with all local shops.
Police now say only two injured
Paris police have now said that only two people, a man and a woman, have been injured in the attack, rather than four.
The victims work for the production company Première Lignes, which is in the same building as the former offices of Charlie Hebdo, and whose staff filmed the Kouachi brothers as they fled the scene after their murderous attack on the satirical magazine in January 2015. The company, which had recently made a film on jihadists, said it had not received any direct threats.
A member of staff Première Ligne told BFM TV: "It happened extremely quickly. A man with a sort of axe attacked people outside the building. He didn't get inside. He ran off and the police arrived. We were forcibly evacuated from our offices."
According to the concierge of one local building: "My son was doing sport nearby when the attack happened. He heart people screaming and saw a man running away with a big knife. He saw an injured woman and a man. I was already living in the area five years ago. Naturally, these are traumatic memories."
Attack a poignant reminder of 2015
Witnesses describe horror from the scene
Witness accounts from the attack have begun filtering through.
"I was in my office. I heard screams in the road. I looked out of the window and saw a woman who was lying on the floor and had taken a whack in the face from what was possibly a machete," a witness told Europe 1 radio.
"I saw a second neighbour on the floor and I went to help."
Video shows large police presence
A large police presence has been deployed in Paris after four people were wounded in a knife attack near the former Charlie Hebdo offices.pic.twitter.com/KRA3txaZ2B— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) September 25, 2020
Video circulating on social media shows a sizeable police presence at the scene
No explosives found in suspect package
According to reports in France Info citing police sources, no explosives have been found in the package identified as suspect outside the scene
Weapon found at scene
A blade was found at the scene, two police sources told Reuters. One described it as a machete, the other called it a meat cleaver.
President of Paris region 'extremely shocked'
The critically ill victims have been transported to Paris' Pitié-Salpétrière hospital.
Valérie Péceresse, president of the Paris region, said she was "extremely shocked by the murderous attack" in "an arrondissement that has already paid a heavy price for terrorist violence."
The Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people died in November 2015, is a few yards down the road.