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French soldier stabbed in the neck outside Paris

The soldier was stabbed in a busy commercial district while on duty. Authorities are looking into a possible link to the recent attack on a British soldier.

French soldier stabbedEnlarge
Police officers stand at the site where a man armed with a box cutter attacked a French soldier patrolling a subway station of Paris' business district, stabbing him in the neck, on May 25, 2013 in La Defense. The soldier in uniform was armed and was patrolling as part of France's Vigipirate anti-terrorist surveillance scheme. France's defense minister said the soldier stabbed in Paris Saturday was targeted because he was in the army and vowed to continue his country's "implacable" fight against terrorism. Police said the man would survive. (FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)

The French government is trying to determine if an attack on a soldier Saturday was linked to the recent bloody killing of an off duty British soldier.

A French soldier was stabbed in the throat while on patrol in a railway station in a busy commercial district outside Paris.

The 23-year-old soldier was attacked from behind by an unknown main wielding a knife or a box-cutter. The man escaped and is being sought by police.

A police union spokesman told Reuters that surveillance footage of the alleged attacker showed him as tall and bearded, aged about 35, possibly of North African origin and wearing a white Arab-style tunic.

The soldier's injuries are not reported to be life threatening. 

Police are investigating if the attack is a copycat in the wake of the brutal killing of British soldier Lee Rigby on Wednesday.

Rigby was attacked on the streets of the southeast London neighborhood of Woolwich by two suspected Islamic extremists.

The two suspects were on the radar of British intelligence but were not classified as a deadly threat.

More from GlobalPost: Drummer Lee Rigby identified as victim of brutal UK attack (LIVE BLOG)

Interior Minister Manuel Valls agreed in an interview on France 2 TV that the two attacks had similarities but said that it was too early to say what motivated the attack. 

"Let's be prudent for now," Valls said. "Everything is being done to arrest this individual."

French president Francois Hollande, speaking while on an official visit to Ethiopia, said that no link had yet been established between the two attacks.

"I don't think at this stage that there can be a link, but we're examining all the elements and we're asking our soldiers to increase their level of vigilance," Hollande told the BBC.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/130525/french-soldier-stabbed-the-neck-outside-paris