Heroic Portuguese pensioner who tackled French knife attacker “out of danger to life”

Manuel, 72, was stabbed multiple times, and hit by stray bullet fired by police

Portuguese pensioner Manuel, 72, is one of the two adults injured in the horrific knife attack in a children’s playground in the French Alps yesterday.

Far from being a random victim, Manuel “helped stop the attacker flee police” following his bloody rampage which centred on the butchering of toddlers.

According to Midi Libre , he was stabbed various times, and hit by a stray bullet as police shot Syrian refugee Abdelmasih Hanoun in the legs.

Manuel was transported to Grenoble hospital in “a critical, life threatening condition”. But following surgery, doctors have improved his prognosis. He is in what has been described today as “a stable condition”.

A statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Manuel (whom the statement did not identify by name) is “now out of danger to life”.

The statement added that Manuel is due  “a word of deep thanks” for his “courage and bravery”.

Portugal’s consulate-general in Lyon is “monitoring the situation with local authorities and the hospital, as well as providing all necessary support”.

The knife-wielding attacker injured six people – including four very small children – in a park in the city of Annecy. It has since transpired that days previously he had his request for asylum in France denied (on the basis that he already has asylum in Sweden).

The Syrian – who claimed to be a Christian for his asylum process – was already known to police, and apparently sleeping rough in the park area for some time.

Hanoun was shot in the legs as he attempted to flee the carnage. He is in police custody and due to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

Meantime, two of the children injured in the horror are also on the road to recovery. Two others, both French and cousins, are still in a critical condition, having been subjected to multiple surgeries.

A young French man who used his backpack as a means of trying to protect the victims is equally emerging as one of the heroes of yesterday. The 24-year-old escaped without serious injuries.

The other person injured in the attack has been named as Yousouff, aged 78. According to Midi Libre, Yousouff was only slightly injured. “He was sitting on a bench when the attacker came up to him”. (He) avoided being stabbed “by performing a movement with his arm”, said Bfm TV.

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