December 17, 2017 / 10:28 AM / 9 months ago

Two Danish journalists wounded in Islamist knife attack in Gabon

LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - An attacker wielding a knife and crying “Allahu Akbar” has wounded two Danish journalists in Gabon’s capital Libreville, the Gabonese defence minister said.

The two reporters for the National Geographic channel were in a popular market for tourist souvenirs on Saturday, when a Nigerian national living in Gabon lunged at them with the knife, Defence Minister Etienne Kabinda Makaga said in a statement on Gabonese television.

After his arrest, the 53-year-old suspect, who has lived in Gabon for two decades, told authorities he was carrying out a revenge attack against America for recognising Israel’s capital as Jerusalem, Makaga said, giving no further explanation.

“A judicial investigation was immediately opened at the public prosecutor’s office of Libreville to establish if the acts of the aggressor were isolated or a conspiracy,” Makaga said.

Oil-rich Gabon has a small Muslim population consisting mostly of foreign workers, although the precise number is not known. It is not normally considered a high risk country for jihadist violence.

(This version of the story corrects to make clear attacker was ‘Nigerian’ from Niger, not ‘Nigerian’ from Nigeria).

Reporting by Gerauds Wilfried Obangome; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Gareth Jones

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