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Fresh warnings over terror threat to France after soldier shoots knifeman at Louvre

By Staff Reporter

A soldier shot and injured a man who tried to attack him with a machete at the Louvre in Paris in what French President Francois Hollande described as an incident of a "terrorist nature".

Police said the man, who was carrying two backpacks and had two machetes, reacted when soldiers told him he could not enter a shopping area below the museum with his bags.

The man tried to attack the soldiers after yelling "Allahu akbar", the Arabic phrase for "God is great".

A soldier opened fire and the man was struck five times, including once in the stomach, Paris police chief Michel Cadot said.

The backpacks did not contain any explosives, he added. One of the soldiers was slightly wounded on the scalp.

Mr Hollande told reporters at an EU summit in Malta that there was "no doubt" the attack was of a "terrorist nature".

He claimed the situation around the Paris landmark museum is "totally under control" but the overall threat to France remains.

Mr Hollande (below) said he expects the assailant to be questioned "when it is possible to do so".

US President Donald Trump claimed that a "new radical Islamic terrorist" was behind the attack.

Mr Trump tweeted early on Friday that the US needs to "get smart" in light of the incident.

The Louvre was due to stay closed for the rest of Friday but is expected to reopen today, culture minister Audrey Azoulay said.

Ms Azoulay made the announcement as she visited soldiers guarding the famed museum as part of heightened security measures.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that a second person was also arrested but it is still unclear whether they were linked to the attack.

He added about 1,000 people were inside the actual museum and were held inside in safe areas.

Olivier Majewski was just leaving his scooter in the parking area beneath the Louvre when he saw about 30 or 40 people running and screaming "there's been a terror attack".

The 53-year-old said he hid for about 15 minutes before making his way upstairs. He said people were clearly scared.

Other witnesses who were waiting to leave the Louvre said that they heard gunfire and could smell smoke.

Students Mei Xiayou and Ying Zhang said all the visitors were led to a safe area, which was packed with people.

The attack took place only hours before leaders of Paris's bid for the 2024 Olympics unveil their final candidate files.

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