Four very young children have been stabbed in a park near Lake Annecy in France's south-east region at around 9.45 am this morning, including a British national.

Gérald Darmanin, France's interior minister, has since said police overpowered and arrested the attacker.

The child victims, who were all aged around three, reportedly included a young British girl.

Sadly, police have reported that two of the children and an adult who was also attacked are all in life-threatening condition at a nearby hospital.

Witnesses said the knifeman, identified by the Daily Mail as 32-year-old Abdalmash H, had begun attacking the preschool children while they were playing at a small playground in a scene of utter 'carnage'.

They said he had launched his onslaught on the toddlers because they were 'easy targets'.

A video is circling social media showing the man being pinned up on a wall by police officers.

It also shows terrified parents running from the playground and screaming "run, run".

British national confirmed among those attacked

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly confirmed one of the victims was a British national.

At a press conference at the Organisation for Economic Co-operaton and Development (OECD) ministerial meeting, he said: “One of the children injured was a British national.

“We have just deployed British consular officials who are travelling to the area to make themselves available to support the family.

“And of course we stand in strong solidarity with the people of France at this terrible time.”

A minute's silence was held in the French National Assembly following the incident.

Regional deputy Antoine Armand described the attack as "abominable" and French prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, is on her way to the scene.

Mr Armand said authorities were investigating and knew "very little", but his thoughts were with the victims and their loved ones.

Local officials earlier said six children were injured in the attack, but authorities later confirmed there were six victims in total, including four children.

The suspect is believed to be a Syrian refugee, according to reports from Le Parisien, BFM TV and AFP quoting police sources.

He attacked the children - some in pushchairs - as they visited the park, before fleeing the scene and stabbing an elderly man nearby.

Police intervened and the perpetrator was shot in the legs.

President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that the nation was in "shock" over the "act of cowardice".

He also claimed police were delayed in their response to shoot the man with the knife.

Another woman, Eleanor Vincent, told the BBC she "knew something horrible had happened" as she approached the lake.

"People were going about their business or on their holiday, as I was, and it's just shocking. I have no other way of describing it."