Two Muslim women were 'stabbed repeatedly' under the Eiffel Tower amid rising tensions in Paris after the beheading of a teacher last week.
French police have arrested two female suspects following the suspected racist attacks, which were allegedly accompanied by the words 'Dirty Arabs'.
Those in custody are described as being white women of 'European appearance', who now face 'attempted murder' charges, said city prosecutors.
It follows the gruesome killing of 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty last Friday by a refugee Islamist terrorist after cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed were shown to a secondary school class on freedom of speech.
Members of France's five million plus Muslim community have complained of Islamophobia caused by a government clampdown on Muslim organisations.
The victims of the attacks have been identified as French women from an Algerian background named only as Kenza, 49, and Amel, who is a few years younger.
French police have arrested two female suspects following the suspected racist attacks, which were allegedly accompanied by the words 'Dirty Arabs'
Teacher Samuel Paty (left) was beheaded in the Paris suburbs on Friday after he shared cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in class, leading Brahim Chinina (right), the father of a girl in his class, to issue what France's interior minister called a 'fatwa' against him
Kenza was stabbed six times and ended up in hospital with a punctured lung, while surgery was carried out on one of Amel's hands, said an investigating source.
No information was initially released about the attack on, leading to uproar on social media, where confirmed images from the scene circulated.
A chilling video records screaming as the stabbings are carried out on Sunday evening. Police confirmed the incident had taken place last night.
A statement from Paris Police read: 'On October 18, at around 8pm, the police intervened following an emergency call from two women wounded by knives on the Champs-de-Mars' – the Field of Mars by the Eiffel Tower.
A source at the Paris prosecutors' office confirmed on Wednesday: 'An investigation for attempted murder has been opened in connection with the stabbings.'
One of the victims wore a face covering, but it was not clear whether this was because of the Covid-19 pandemic, or for cultural or religious reasons.
Kenza told Liberation newspaper: 'We were a family, five adults in all and four children. We had gone out for a walk. At the level of the Eiffel Tower there is a small rather dark park, we took a little tour in it.
'As we walked, there were two dogs that come towards us. The children got scared. My cousin, who was veiled, asked the two women if it was possible to keep their dogs with them because the children were afraid.'
The dog owners refused to put their animals on a leash, and a furious argument followed – one that included racist insults.
At around 8pm, the two women with the dogs then allegedly pulled out a knife, and launched themselves at Kenza and Amel.
'One of the two took out a knife, she slashed me on the skull, on the back on the ribs and there was a third blow on the arm,' said Kenza. 'They then attacked my cousin.'
Witnesses say they heard smears including 'Dirty Arab!' and 'Go home to your own country'. 'Call the emergency services, she stabbed him,' was also heard.
Two local shop workers then intervened and held one of the attackers down until the police arrived. The second suspect was arrested later.
Details about the stabbings come as President Emmanuel Macron prepares to lead a National Hommage to Mr Paty, who was stabbed to death by 18-year-old Russia-born killer Abdullakh Anzarov.
The beheading happened outside the Bois-d'Aulne school in Conflans-Saint-Honorine, north of Paris, where Paty taught French and Geography.
Chechen jihadist Anzorov was in contact with the father of a girl in Mr Paty's class who had mobilised a campaign against him over the cartoons, police sources said.
The father, Brahim Chnina, is in custody after France's interior minister accused him of launching a 'fatwa' against Paty who was killed in the Paris suburbs on Friday.
Chnina had put his phone number on a Facebook post with a video calling for protests against Paty, and later published details of the teacher and his school.
The French government said today it would honour Paty with a posthumous Legion d'Honneur, France's highest order of merit.
But his killer is also being celebrated by ISIS terrorists who have produced horrifying propaganda using a photo of Paty's severed head.
The images were taken by 18-year-old Anzorov after he murdered Paty and shortly before he was shot in the street by police.
The depraved image has featured in a magazine published in India, which says: 'If your freedom of expression doesn't stop you from criticising Prophet Mohammed then our swords will not stop defending the honour of Prophet Mohammed.'
Anzorov is believed to have shared the graphic images with fellow Russian-speaking jihadists before it was distributed among pro-ISIS accounts on Telegram.
A witness who saw Paty's severed head described seeing Anzorov take pictures of it in the moments after the killing and before the terrorist was shot dead by police.
The murder has led to a renewed crackdown on extremism in France where ministers plan to shut down two Islamic organisations and a Paris mosque.
One imam apologised today after his mosque shared details of Paty and his school on Facebook following a campaign by an outraged Muslim father.
'Given what happened we regret having published it, said imam M'hammed Henniche, according to France Info.
'We are currently seeing how in the future to take a step back before getting carried away on things like that.'
While ISIS has not claimed responsibility for Paty's killing, the magazine has previously urged people to emulate the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris which was also seen as revenge for