At least three children and a woman were stabbed by a lone male attacker in the Irish capital of Dublin on Thursday afternoon.
The attack occurred shortly after 1 p.m. outside Gaelscoil Coláiste Mhuire primary school in Parnell Square East on the northside of Dublin city center.
An eyewitness told the Irish Times that a man had been seen attacking a group of young children with a knife when several individuals intervened to disarm the attacker.
A large knife was seen being seized from the attacker and thrown into grass away from the scene by a member of the public.
BREAKING: At least three children have been injured in what is described as a suspected stabbing incident near a school in central Dublin. Gardai are releasing no further information at present. pic.twitter.com/RGYXUg9PI5— gript (@griptmedia) November 23, 2023
Two of the children, one believed to be as young as five, have been taken to hospital and one remains in a critical condition.
Graphic images from the scene show emergency responders tending to a young girl whose pink backpack is laid down next to her body.
A suspect with what is understood to have been self-inflicted wounds was arrested at the scene and treated for his injuries.
A significant police presence cordoned off the affected area of the city as emergency responders tended to the victims and police conducted initial investigations.
“The casualties include an adult male, an adult female, and three young children,” read a police statement. “One child, a girl, has sustained serious injuries, the other two children are being treated for less serious injuries.
DUBLIN— Three children are among five injured in a “mass stabbing” today.— Bree A Dail (@breeadail) November 23, 2023
Eyewitnesses claim a ‘man of foreign descent’ was tackled by a witness after assaulting the victims.
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“An Garda Síochána is in contact with parents of all three injured children. The adult female is being treated for serious injuries and the adult male for less serious injuries,” it added.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee expressed her deep shock at the “appalling attack on three innocent children and a woman in Dublin today.
“All our thoughts are with those injured, especially with the children, their parents and families, during this extremely difficult period.
“I have been briefed by the Garda Commissioner and will remain in close contact with him and senior Gardaí.
“It is my understanding that Gardaí are following a definite line of inquiry and are not looking for any other person at this time,” she added.
Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar added: “The facts in this matter are still emerging. The emergency services responded very quickly and were on site within minutes. I thank them for that. Gardaí have detained a suspect and are following a definite line of inquiry.”
UPDATE: Irish news outlet Gript Media reported later on Thursday that the main suspect in police custody is believed to be an Algerian national.