A man with a knife attacked five people in Paris last night, killing a 29-year-old and injuring four others. The attacker fled and was caught and shot dead by police after he threatened them, said Gerard Collomb, the French Minister of the Interior. Islamic State said that the man with the knife was one of its “soldiers”.
The attack took place around 9pm (1900 GMT) in the centre of Paris near the Opera Garnier, a popular area full of people enjoying Saturday evening in the cafes and restaurants in Rue Monsigny. The attacker apparently shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ (Arabic for ‘God is great’) as he began his attack.
Claiming responsibility for ISIS, the Islamic State Amaaq news agency reported that the attack was a response to a call for supporters to target members of the US-led military coalition in Syria, of which the French military has been part since 2014 . The investigation has been turned over to the French counter-terrorism unit to identify the assailant and any accomplices who may have been involved.
The police arrived within four minutes of the attack and the attacker was caught within nine minutes. President Emmanuel Macron tweeted his praise for police who “neutralised the terrorist” and said “France is once again paying the price of blood but will not cede an inch to enemies of freedom”.
The assailant has not been officially identified but a French judiclal official said he was born in Chechnya but held French nationality. His parents have been detained for questioning.
According to the AP report, Islamic State supporters have killed over 200 people in France in recent years, including the 130 who died in the November attacks in Paris in November 2015.