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France: Paris police shoot attacker near Notre-Dame Cathedral

7th Jun 2017
France: Paris police shoot attacker near Notre-Dame Cathedral

By Hajer M’tiri

 

PARIS (AA): A police officer shot and injured a man who used a hammer to attack police near Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on Tuesday afternoon, triggering a major security operation, according to authorities.

“Situation under control, a policeman was wounded, the perpetrator was neutralized and sent to hospital,” the Paris Police Prefecture said in a statement.

The entire area surrounding the landmark cathedral in the French capital has been sealed off.

Although the motive for the attack is as yet unknown, anti-terrorism prosecutors have opened an investigation.

Speaking at the scene of the attack, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said that in addition to a hammer, the suspect had two knives. He was shot in the legs.

Collomb said the aggressor shouted, “This is for Syria.”

He added that the evidence so far suggests the attacker acted alone. As for his identity, Collomb said he was an Algerian student, according to an identity card found on his person which investigators are trying to verify.

According to media reports, the attacker took the police officer by surprise in front of the Paris police headquarters by assaulting him with a hammer, causing minor injuries; another officer responded by opening fire.

The Paris police headquarters is located opposite the Gothic landmark in the heart of the fourth arrondissement.

Around 900 tourists were kept locked inside the cathedral as a precaution, according to authorities.

Notre Dame is one of the most-visited monuments in Europe, with an estimated 13.6 million visitors a year.

The attack comes few days before a decisive first round of legislative elections planned for June 11 and set to continue on June 18.

 

[Photo: Notre Dame in Paris. Public domain by its author, Thschutt at English Wikipedia].

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