(AFP) — French transport police shot and gravely wounded a man at a Paris railway station who threatened them with a knife while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest) in Arabic, police and prosecutors said on Tuesday.
The man rushed at police just before midnight on Monday at Saint-Lazare, one of the capital’s busiest train stations, a police source who asked not to be named told AFP, confirming a report first broadcast on BFM TV.
The source added that the man drew a knife from a bag as he shouted “Allahu Akbar”.
“The two officers used their service weapons to defend themselves and neutralise him. The wounded individual was taken care of by the emergency services,” said a spokesman for France’s national rail operator SNCF.
Paris prosecutors said that the man’s life was in danger after being shot twice by the transport police, known as Suge in France.
An investigation has been opened into attempted murder of a public official, incitement to terrorism and violence with a weapon, said the prosecutors.
A source close to the investigation, who asked not to be named, said that the man was not known to the security services.
France remains on its highest alert following a spate of Islamist attacks from January 2015. The trial into the November 2015 attacks on Paris that left 130 dead is currently ongoing in the French capital with officials warning this means particular vigilance is required.
The country saw a spate of attacks by lone Islamist radicals in late 2020 including the October 2020 killing of teacher Samuel Paty.
His beheading after he showed pupils caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in a lesson about free speech shocked the country.
© Agence France-Presse