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Three injured in knife attack in Paris railway station

An assailant injured three people Saturday in a stabbing attack at the major Gare de Lyon train station in Paris, another nerve-rattling security incident in the Olympic host city before the Summer Games open in six months.

Paris police said officers quickly detained the attacker who used a sharp weapon in the assault at around 8am. One of the people injured was in a serious condition; the other two were more lightly hurt.

A spokesman offered: "Officers arrived on the scene within minutes and the man was arrested. He was found to have an Italian passport on him, and did not offer an motive for his actions. There were no slogans shouted."

French soldiers secure the area (REUTERS)
French soldiers secure the area (REUTERS)

Police had no other immediate details.

The Gare de Lyon is one of the busiest train stations in Paris. It is a hub both for high-speed trains that link the capital to other cities and for commuter trains that serve the suburbs and towns in the Paris region.

Security in Paris is being ramped up as it prepares to welcome 10,500 Olympians and millions of visitors for the first Olympic Games in a century in the French capital.

The Games are to open with a massive open-air ceremony along the River Seine on July 26, a major security challenge in the city that has been repeatedly hit by terror attacks, most notably in 2015.

A French soldier of the Sentinelle security operation stands guard in a hall after a knife attack at Paris's Gare de Lyon railway station (AFP via Getty Images)
A French soldier of the Sentinelle security operation stands guard in a hall after a knife attack at Paris's Gare de Lyon railway station (AFP via Getty Images)

Most recently, a man targeted passersby near the Eiffel Tower in December, killing a German tourist with a knife and injuring two others.

France has suffered a series of Islamist militant attacks over the past decade, but also occasional assaults by people with mental disorders.

Le Figaro newspaper said the attacker at Gare de Lyon on Saturday morning was from Mali and carried an Italian driving licence, citing an anonymous police source. It was not immediately possible to confirm this report.