- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 6, 2002

FROM COMBINED DISPATCHES
PARIS Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, 52, was stabbed in the stomach by an attacker in the town hall early today, where many people had gathered for a cultural event, his culture deputy, Christophe Girard, said.
Mr. Delanoe, a Socialist, was conscious when he was treated on the spot by an ambulance crew before being taken to a hospital, under police escort, with a knife wound to the right side of the stomach.
France Info radio reported that a 40-year-old suspect had been quickly subdued and taken into custody after the attack. The motive or identity of the attacker was not known.
Mr. Delanoe's wounds were not life-threatening, and he was doing well in the hospital, the mayor's office said later.
The attack took place about 2:30 a.m. during Paris' first "White Night" cultural celebrations, which drew thousands onto the streets and into the capital's museums and other cultural venues.
One of the mayor's aides, Anne-Sylvie Schneider, who was by his side when the attack took place, told Agence France-Presse: "It was just after 2:30; the mayor was walking quietly in the Hotel de Ville's reception room when a man of around 40 threw himself on him without saying anything and stabbed him in the stomach with a knife. The mayor fell to the ground and I did, too, and the individual was quickly tackled by an official."
Mr. Delanoe "lost a lot of blood, but I really think he will be all right," she added.
"In any case his life is not in danger. He remained conscious throughout and said before going to the hospital that the [celebration] should continue," she said.
Before the attack the mayor had made a tour of the main sites of the "White Night" festivities.
Thousands made their way during the night to the large square outside the Hotel de Ville, the mayor's grand town hall near the Seine River. Mr. Delanoe had encouraged some outside to come into the Hotel de Ville.
Mr. Delanoe announced in 1999 that he is a homosexual. He has long been a key cog in the Socialist Party's political machine.
Mr. Delanoe took office in spring 2001, promising to improve the quality of life, reduce pollution and cut down on traffic.
A virtual unknown before the election, Mr. Delanoe has since organized popular events in Paris, such as turning the banks of the Seine River into a beach for picnics and street parties this summer.
Before his win, Paris City Hall had been controlled by President Jacques Chirac's conservatives for a quarter-century.


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