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A French soldier was stabbed in the throat in a busy commercial district outside Paris on Saturday, and the government said it was trying to determine if there were any links to the brutal killing of a British soldier by suspected Islamic extremists.

French President Francois Hollande said the identity of the attacker, who escaped, was unknown and cautioned against jumping to conclusions about the assault on the uniformed soldier in the La Defense shopping area. The life of the 23-year-old soldier was not in danger, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

On Wednesday, British soldier Lee Rigby, 25, was viciously stabbed on a London street in broad daylight in a suspected terrorist attack that has raised fears of potential copycat strikes.

The French soldier was on a group patrol as part of a national protection program when he was attacked from behind, prosecutor Robert Gelli told Europe 1 radio. The assailant did not say a word, Gelli said.

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