A man has been shot dead at a Paris police station wearing a fake explosive vest and carrying a sheet of paper featuring the ISIL flag.
The man was killed as he tried to enter a police station in Paris, wielding a knife.
The incident comes on the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine
Euro News reports:
Reportedly shouting ‘Allahu Akbar!’, meaning ‘God is great’, he was gunned down by officers in the northern 18th district, not far from Montmartre. Some reports said his weapon was a meat cleaver.
The Paris Prosecutor François Molins has said the man was carrying a mobile phone and a sheet of paper featuring the ISIL flag and a claim of responsibility, written in Arabic.
The events would be investigated as a terrorism incident, he added.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) January 7, 2016
According to a police union official, the man ran towards two officers guarding the building. He was brandishing a kitchen knife and “shouting something which could have been Allahu Akbar”, Yann Assioma of Alliance CGC told France Info radio.
The officers thought for a moment that he had a suicide vest as wires were seen protruding from his coat, the report said. His material was later revealed to have been fake after an examination by a police robot.
Speaking later from the scene, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said investigators were working to determine the dead man’s identity.
The police station where the attempted attack took place lies in the rue de la Goutte d’Or in the Barbès district, a working class and multiracial part of the French capital.
The attack happened one year to the day since the Charlie Hebdo killings in the French capital and at noon, around the same time that gunmen shot dead cartoonists and others at the satirical magazine’s headquarters on January 7, 2015.
Following the latest incident, a major security operation swung into action amid initial reports the man may have had an accomplice still on the run.
Local schools were placed on lockdown and part of the metro system was disrupted.
France has been on edge since last January’s massacres and the suicide bombings and shootings by Islamist extremists that left 130 people dead and hundreds injured in Paris in November last year.
What we know:
– A man who was shot dead trying to enter a north Paris police station on Thursday shouted Allahu Akbar and may have been wearing a suicide belt, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandet said on French TV.
– The man was allegedly armed with a cleaver
– Police union sources told media the suicide belt is confirmed by the bomb squad to be a fake one.
– Paris prosecutors initially started an investigation for “attempted murder of a public official” but the anti-terror prosecutor has the attack was now being investigated as a terrorism incident.
An hour ago
Islamic State flag
(Reuters) The man shot dead at a Paris police station on Thursday was carrying a mobile phone and a sheet of paper showing the Islamic State flag and claims of responsibility written in Arabic, the Paris prosecutor said in a statement.
“A mobile phone and a piece of paper, on which appear the Daesh flag and a clear written claim in Arabic, were found on the individual,” Francois Molins said, referring to the Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
Molins said that given the circumstances the events would be investigated as a terrorism incident.
3 hours ago
Paris prosecutors have started an investigation for “attempted murder of a public official”. The anti-terrorism prosecutors unit has not been involved yet. (AFP)
4 hours ago
A pouch taped to body
According to AFP, the alleged attacker wore a “fake explosive belt” consisting of a pouch taped to his body. A wire was coming out of the pouch but it did not constitute a real explosive device.
4 hours ago
A fake explosive belt
“The man did have a belt, but it was a fake. The bomb-disposal unit confirmed it was a fake,” a police union source told Reuters.
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