A man armed with a knife lunged at bystanders in a suspected terror attack in central Paris on Saturday night, killing at least one person and injuring four others before being shot dead by police. The assailant shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ (Arabic for God is greatest) as he struck pedestrians. Two of the injured were in serious condition. Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the SITE monitoring group. In a tweet, the French President Emmanuel Macron said: “France is paying the price of blood once again but is not yielding an inch to the enemies of freedom “I salute on behalf of all French people the courage of the police officers who neutralised the terrorist,” he added The attack took place on rue Monsigny in the heart of Paris near the Palais Garnier Opera House in the 2nd arrondissement. The area, which has many cafés, restaurants, cinemas and theatres, was packed with people out for the evening. Police first attempted to taser the attacker, but opened fire after failing to subdue him, witnesses said. Police cordoned off the area after the attack and emergency vehicles converged on the neighbourhood. The attacker, who was dressed in black and reportedly looked in his early 20s, was not carrying ID and had not been identified. Pierre Gaudin, an official at Paris Prefecture, said his motives were still unknown. Policemen stand guard in Paris centre after one person was killed and several injured in a knife attack in Paris on May 12, 2018. The assailant was killed by police Credit: AFP PHOTO Forensic officers were examining evidence at the scene and police said they would try to identify the attacker from his fingerprints and DNA, and by using facial recognition technology. Loic Travers, a police union spokesman, said the onslaught was similar to a knife attack carried out by a suspected jihadist in Marseille last year. François Molins, the Paris prosecutor, said a terrorism investigation had been opened and confirmed the attacker had shouted “Allahu Akbar”. Yvan Assioma, a police union spokesman, described the man as “bearded, with long hair.” Mr Assioma said he “looked North African.” Gérard Collomb, the interior minister, said his “first thoughts are with the victims of this odious act.” He added: “I salute the sang-froid and quick reactions of the police.” Kiomi, a woman who witnessed the attack, described the assailant as “dark-haired, of medium build.” Forensic officers and French policemen stand in Monsigny street in Paris centre Credit: AFP Another witness, Fiona Zanetti, said she was in a restaurant when the attack happened. “The guy just targeted people, at random it seemed, attacking them in the street where they were standing or walking. People started running.” A third witness, a restaurant worker, said: “There was a lady standing near the entrance of the restaurant and he went for her and then stabbed her boyfriend. There was chaos, and then there were two shots.” Charles Pellegrin, a journalist, said: “I came out of a comedy show and was told to go back inside immediately because there was a madman with a knife. Once inside, we heard sirens and two gun shots.” More than 245 people have been killed in a string of jihadist attacks across France in the past three years. In November 2015, gunmen wearing suicide vests killed 130 people at the Bataclan concert venue and nearby bars and restaurants. On 14 July 2016, a Tunisian man drove a 19-ton lorry into crowds of families on the Nice beachfront as they watched a Bastille Day fireworks display. The Isil group claimed both attacks. A knife attack outside the main railway station in Marseille in October last year that killed two young women was claimed by Isil, but French investigators have not confirmed it was a jihadist attack. In March this year, four people were killed by an Islamist armed with a gun and a knife, who attacked motorists, police and supermarket shoppers near Carcassone, in southern France. Arnaud Beltrame, a gendarme, was killed after volunteering to take the place of a woman hostage. Islamists have repeatedly targeted French police. In a 2016 attack, a policeman and his partner were stabbed to death at their home.
Source: Yahoo! News