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French police launch terror investigation after knife attack near Charlie Hebdo's former office

Two people were seriously injured

Photo by Samuel Boivin/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Police are investigating a knife attack that took place near the former Paris offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the site of a 2015 radical Islamist terror attack, CNN reported Friday.

The stabbing occurred Friday morning and has left two individuals seriously injured, police said. The victims are said to be employees of the French documentary production company Premières Lignes. They are in serious condition but are expected to survive.

The attack comes as a long-awaited trial unfolds of 14 people accused of assisting the two gunmen, brothers Saïd and Chérif Kouachi, in their attack on Charlie Hebdo's offices nearly five years ago.

Shortly after the attack, an unidentified suspect was arrested near Place de la Bastille, and as of Friday afternoon, two suspects were being held by police.

"The main perpetrator has been arrested and is currently in police custody, the second individual was placed in custody for his relations with the main perpetrator," Jean-François Ricard, France's anti-terror prosecutor, said.

A terror investigation has been launched

French prosecutors have reportedly opened a terrorism investigation due to the attack's proximity to the 2015 terror attack, which took the lives of 12 people and injured 11 others, and its timing in relation to the current trial.

Ricard added that the two victims were on a cigarette break when they were attacked.

According to CNN, Premières Lignes' founder, Paul Moreira, told BFM TV that it "all happened very quickly" and that "a few blows were given to the two people in front of the office" by an attacker wielding some "sort of cleaver."

The company's director, Luc Hermann, criticized what he described as a "total absence of protection of this building since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo."

"We're journalists. Our job is to inform, not to get attacked like this morning," he added.

Following the incident, Charlie Hebdo tweeted out "support and solidarity" to its "neighbors and colleagues at [Premières Ligne] and to those affected by this heinous attack."

Earlier this week, the magazine's head of human resources, Marika Bret, was forced to flee her home forever as a result of "precise and detailed" death threats.

As the trial loomed, the magazine decided to republish the Mohammed cartoons that sparked the original attack.

"Since the start of the trial and with the republication of the cartoons, we have received all kinds of horrors, including threats from al-Qaeda and calls to finish the work of the [gunmen from the 2015 attack]," Bret told Le Point magazine.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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