The Islamist extremist who killed a French police chief and his wife was acting on orders from Islamic State, officials have said.
Larossi Abballa, was reportedly loyal to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and was told to “kill infidels” by the terror group.
The BBC says the couple were stabbed to death at their home in front of their three-year-old son. Abballa live streamed the killing on Facebook, and a video was later posted by the Islamic State terror group showing him confessing to the killing.
In the video, apparently filmed in the home of the couple after the attack, Abballa tells French Muslims to target police officers, journalists and politicians. He reportedly named several prominent journalists specifically.
He also said he was following a call from Abu Mohammed al-Adnani, an Islamic State spokesman, who put out a message ordering Muslims to target civilians during Ramadan in Europe and the United States.
He posted the video of Facebook Live as police surrounded the house. They eventually stormed the building when he threatened to blow it up. Abballa was then killed in a shootout.
French media have named the victims as Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, and Jessica Schneider, 36.
French President François Hollande called the crime a “terrorist act” and said France still faces a “significant” threat from Islamist extremism. Prime Minister Manuel Valls said it was a “watershed in terms of horror – the home, the intimate life of a family, of a couple of civil servants, was targeted”.
Abballa had been previously jailed in 2013 for recruiting Islamist fighters in Pakistan, and was under police surveillance.
France has been in a state of emergency since last November’s terrorist attack in Paris in which 130 people were killed. The country is also on high alert as it hosts the Euro 2016 football tournament.