TWO Muslim women were “stabbed repeatedly” under the Eiffel Tower by two white women who called them “dirty Arabs”, it has been reported.
French police have arrested two female suspects after the alleged racist attack on Sunday night.
Those in custody – who have not been named – are described as being white women of “European appearance” and now face “attempted murder” charges, city prosecutors said.
One victim was stabbed six times and suffered a punctured lung and the other needed surgery on her hands.
Witnesses claimed they heard “dirty Arab!” and “Go home to your own country”.
“Call the emergency services, she stabbed him,” was also heard, as well as “Let go, you big beast!”
Two local shop workers then intervened and reportedly held one of the attackers down until the police arrived. The second suspect was arrested later.
Sunday night’s attack comes amid rising tensions after the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty in a Parisian suburb last week by a radicalised terrorist.
The French Muslim community – which makes up more than five million people – have complained of increased Islamophobia caused by a government clampdown on mosques and Muslim organisations.
The victims of Sunday’s attack have been identified as French women from an Algerian background as Kenza, 49, and Amel, who is a few years younger.
Kenza was stabbed six times and ended up in hospital with a punctured lung, while surgery was carried out on one of Amel’s hands, said an investigating source.
No information was initially released about the attack, which led to criticism online as images from the scene were widely circulated including a chilling video where screams are heard during the attack.
On Tuesday night Paris Police said in a statement: “On October 18, at around 8pm, the police intervened following an emergency call from two women wounded by knives on the Champs-de-Mars’ – the Field of Mars by the Eiffel Tower.”
A source at the Paris prosecutors’ office also confirmed yesterday: “An investigation for attempted murder has been opened in connection with the stabbings.”
One of the victims said the attack started when she asked the alleged assailants to put their dogs on a lead.
Kenza told Liberation newspaper: “We were a family, five adults in all and four children.
“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. 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.”
The dog owners refused to put their animals on a leash, and a furious argument followed – one that included racist insults.
It is then – around 8pm and in darkness – that the two women with the dogs allegedly pulled out a knife, and launched themselves at Kenza and Amel.
Kenza said: “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.
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“They then attacked my cousin.”
It comes as President Emmanuel Macron prepares to lead a National Hommage to the 47-year-old the teacher.
Samuel was stabbed to death last week by Russia-born killer, Abdullakh Anzarov, 18.
The killer was infuriated over depictions of Prophet Mohammed being shown to schoolchildren.
The beheading happened outside the Bois-d’Aulne school in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, north of Paris, where Mr Paty taught French and Geography.