Terror probe launched after deadly Paris knife attack

Policemen patrol the street after the attack
AFP

Paris (AFP) – A knifeman shouting Allahu akbar was shot dead by police in central Paris late Saturday after he killed one person and injured four, prompting a terror probe.

The attack took place near the city’s main opera house in an area full of bars, restaurants and theatres which were brimming on a weekend night.

French President Emmanuel Macron said: “France once again pays the price of blood.” Prosecutors cited witnesses as saying the man shouted Allahu akbar as he went on the rampage, and added that a terror investigation had been launched. 

The man attacked five people with a knife, one of whom died, police said. Two were in serious condition and all the victims are in hospital.  

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb hailed in a tweet the “sang-froid and reaction of the police who neutralised the attacker.”

A large area was cordoned-off where police, fire and rescue vehicles converged. 

Shocked tourists and residents looked on from behind the security perimeter.

“I was on the cafe terrace, I heard three, four shots, it happened very fast,” said 47-year-old Gloria.

“Then the bartenders told us to come inside very quickly. Then I went out to see what was going on, and then I saw a man on the ground,” she added.

Police said the attacker’s motives were still unknown.

The attack comes as France is under a constant threat from terrorism. A string of jihadist attacks have claimed the lives of over 245 people around France in the past three years.

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