French theatre director Alain Francon suffers throat injuries after knife attack

Victim, 76, reportedly fighting for life after stabbing near church in city of Montpellier

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 23, 2016, stage director Alain Francon poses after receiving the Moliere Award for the best director in a private theatre during the 28th Ceremony of the French Theatre Molieres awards at the Folies Bergers in Paris.

 French stage director Alain Francon, 76, was assaulted in Montpellier on March 17, 2021, and seriously injured with a knife. He was taken to hospital. / AFP / FRANCOIS GUILLOT
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Acclaimed French theatre director Alain Francon has been seriously injured after a stabbing near a church in Montpellier, France.

The victim, 76, suffered injuries to his throat and was taken to hospital where he remains in intensive care, according to multiple French news reports.

The unknown assailant fled the scene and has yet to be apprehended. A large security perimeter has been put up in the area with several streets closed off.

Detectives told local reporters that they are not treating the incident as terror-related.

The attack took place at around 11.30am local time on rue Voltaire, between Place Saint-Côme and Saint-Roch church.

The National School of Dramatic Art in Montpellier confirmed that Mr Francon had been teaching at its school since mid-February.

Dominique Racle, representative for the drama school, confirmed that Mr Francon had been gravely injured.

“Alain Francon was stabbed in the throat this morning in the streets of Montpellier while he was going to his theatre course. He is currently being operated on at the Montpellier hospital," the source told AFP.

Mr Francon is one of France's most respected figures in drama. From 1996 to January 2010, he was director of the Theatre National de la Colline in Paris.