• France's news in English
 
Teenage victim of veil attack attempts suicide
File photo: A French police officer speaks with Muslim women during an identity check in Lille in 2012. Photo: Denis Charlet/AFP

Teenage victim of veil attack attempts suicide

Published: 27 Aug 2013 08:43 GMT+02:00

The teenager, who was attacked on August 12th by two men who threatened her with a box cutter before ripping off her veil, is in a "critical" condition at a hospital in the French capital.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, the teenager threw herself out a window at her family home in the suburb of Trappes, at around 7.30pm on Monday.

It is believed she had already made a previous unsuccessful attempt to commit suicide by taking an overdose of pills last week.

The motive for her actions is not clear. 

With tensions already high in the suburb of Trappes, which was the scene of violent clashes between youths and police last month, authorities feared the suicide attempt may spark further outbreaks of trouble.

Riot police were sent into Trappes on Monday evening and were stationed around the police station, the focal point of last month's violence. No outbreaks of disorder were reported, however.

On the day she was attacked, the teen victim told police she was leaving a friend’s house in Trappes at around 5.45pm  when two “European-looking” men confronted her near Square Berlioz.

The victim reported her assailants shouted racist and anti-Muslim insults at her before brandishing a boxcutter. She said they then tore off her veil, pushed her to the ground, and hit her.

"The first man started to touch my chest and then I managed to slap him, but then he punched me in the chest. He then took out a sharp object and started to cut my face with short, quick movements," the victim told The Huffington Post in the aftermath of the attack.

OPINION: France is having an identity crisis over Islam

The victim was saved when a third man intervened, and the attackers – one of whom was described as having a shaved head – fled the area by car.

She was driven to hospital in Trappes, in the department of Yvelines, where she was found to have “light scratch marks” on her face and throat, a source told French daily Le Parisien.

She reported the incident to local police the following day, who opened up an official investigation and are studying CCTV images and trying to track down any witnesses to the attack.

Investigators in Yvelines confirmed the girl had been attacked but according to Le Parisien newspaper had not been able to find any proof to back up her version of events. The police probe has been made more difficult by the fact that no eyewitness has come forward to help enquiries.

It was not clear whether the victim was wearing a headscarf, known as a hijab, or a full-face veil, known as a niqab, which was banned from being worn in public in France in 2011.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned the attack at the time, expressing his “indignation” to French television BFMTV.

“I severely condemn this newest demonstration of anti-Muslim hatred and intolerance,” Valls said.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
No Euro hangover as PSG hit Lille for six
Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

No Euro hangover as PSG hit Lille for six

Paris Saint-Germain quickly got back on track after their Champions League loss to Barcelona as Ezequiel Lavezzi netted a hat-trick in a resounding 6-1 win over Lille at the Parc des Princes on Saturday. READ  

French tip leads to massive UK cocaine haul
Photo: Abby Gadd/MOD

French tip leads to massive UK cocaine haul

Over two tonnes of cocaine were seized off the coast of Scotland on Sunday in an operation involving French and British officials. READ  

French icon Juliette Greco begins final tour
Photo: Guillaume Souvant/AFP

French icon Juliette Greco begins final tour

As she embarks on the last tour of a more than six-decade career that began in post-war Paris, iconic French singer Juliette Greco had some parting advice for young performers: "Learn to say no." READ  

France opens probe into Qatar forced labour
Vinci and its QDVC subsidiary are facing a suit alleging forced labour in Qatar. Photo: AFP

France opens probe into Qatar forced labour

French prosecutors said Saturday they had opened a preliminary probe into a lobby group's claims that construction giant Vinci is using forced labour on building projects for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. READ  

Foiled Paris Church Attack
Thwarted French jihadist faces terror charges
The suspect is still being treated in a hospital in Paris. Photo: AFP

Thwarted French jihadist faces terror charges

An Algerian jihadist sympathiser arrested in connection with a thwarted attack on a church in France was charged with terror-related murder Friday after five days of police questioning. READ  

French recycling rates slammed as 'disastrous'
The "Triman" recycling logo next to trash containers in Paris. Photo: Alain Jocard/AFP

French recycling rates slammed as 'disastrous'

Less than a quarter of household waste in France is recycled according to a report this week, a statistic that a French consumer watchdog has described as “disastrous” and well below that of the country's European neighbours. READ  

Putin calls on Hollande to mend ties to help trade
Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande arrive into the Genocide memorial, on April 24, 2015 in Yerevan. Photo: AFP

Putin calls on Hollande to mend ties to help trade

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged his French counterpart François Hollande to restore ties that have been undermined by tension over Ukraine. For his part Hollande told Puting to ensure there the peace accords were implemented. READ  

French may be enforced on all flights to Canada

French may be enforced on all flights to Canada

It could soon become obligatory for all airlines serving Canada to ensure French speakers are among the crew and announcements are made in both French and English. The move was inspired by a row on an Air Canada flight over a can of lemonade. READ  

Foiled Paris church attack
Foiled terror suspect 'controlled' from Syria
Sid Ahmed Ghlam, who is suspected of planning a Charlie Hebdo style attack on churches in Paris. Photo: Screengrab iTele

Foiled terror suspect 'controlled' from Syria

The student suspected of planning to launch a terror attack on churches in Paris was to appear before judges on Friday as police become convinced he was "controlled remotely by mysterious men" probably in Syria. READ  

French prof suspended for 'defending Hitler'
The teacher allegedly told students Hitler was a "good man". Photo of a classroom: Shutterstock

French prof suspended for 'defending Hitler'

A teacher at a high school in central France has been temporarily suspended after her pupils reported her to education chiefs for allegedly repeatedly defending Adolf Hitler during German lessons. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
How to disguise the fact you are clearly not French
France desperately hunts for church terror plot accomplices
Can France really protect 4,500 churches around the country?
WARNING - When in France use first names with caution
So what does the world's oldest bubbly taste like?
British expats left in lurch by NHS clampdown
Tossing cigarette butts in Paris to prompt €68 fines
Culture
Cannes Film Festival reveals jury
Flamanville: France's nuclear 'calamity' that has the UK worried
Features
Forget the Mona Lisa, here's the weirdest objects you can see around Paris
For many Britons 'Waterloo' is just an Abba song or a train station
IN PICTURES: See the French ship 'Hermione' set sail again for the US
Opinion
Is it time the French scrapped tu and vous?
National
Sexual harassment rife on Paris trains
National
Marine Le Pen makes Time 'most influential' list
Cannes Film Festival line-up revealed
National
Cartoonist's book slams 'Islamophobia swindlers'
National
More French women than men lured by Isis
Society
Les Entrepreneurs: We chat with the founder of Paris Picnic
National
Edith Piaf celebrated at Parisian exhibit
How the health reforms will change life in France
Gallery
Naked protests: The French love to take their clothes off to make a point
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Then and now - the site of the Alps plane crash
Travel
So why would anyone really want to live in Lille?
Opinion
Why the French should be very worried about new spying powers
National
Spain's newest export to France: Vultures
Did a row over stolen veg lead to the murder of a British expat in France?
VIDEO: French rail chiefs SNCF furious after the Paris-Roubaix race
Sport
What the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris would look like
Culture
IN PICS: Take a look inside France's new 36,000 year-old tourist site
International
Did the Pope reject France's envoy to the Vatican because he was gay?
Cyberjihad: Hacking of French TV channel was 'a step up'
Politics
PROFILE: Jean-Marie Le Pen - France's far-right master provocateur
National
France's fatigued 'anti-terror' police resort to calling sick
National
Dipping baguette in a bowl of coffee! - French habits foreigners don't get
Strike latest: Scores of flights cancelled in France
Features
New Calais migrant camp 'the worst in Europe'
Society
ASK THE EXPERTS: So why are the French always on strike?
National
French air traffic control strike: Tourists face travel chaos
Culture
Which stars will land an invite to the Cannes Film Festival?
Technology
Paris holds film festival for blind cinema goers
National
Paris wants to triple its number of cyclists by 2020
National
Readers tell us of the joys of living in France's 'expat no-go zones'
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se