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Louvre attack: Man shouting 'Allahu akbar' shot after attempt to kill French soldier with machete

A suspected terrorist has attempted to attack a French soldier with a machete near Paris' famed Le Louvre art gallery.

Prosecutors said the "attempted assassination" was being treated as a terror attack, amid the country's continuing state of emergency.

The soldier had been on routine patrol when the assault started near the Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre, causing a second troop to open fire.

Michel Cadot, the head of Paris police, said the man was shouting "Allahu akbar" and injured the soldier's scalp.

“We are dealing with an attack from an individual who was clearly aggressive and represented a direct threat, and whose comments lead us to believe that he wished to carry out a terrorist incident,” Mr Cadot told reporters.

“There was also a second individual who was behaving suspiciously, who has also been detained, but for now there does not appear to be a link between that individual and the attack."

The attacker was shot five times and hit in the stomach, Mr Cadot added. Police union officials said he was also carrying a second machete.

He was seriously injured in the incident at around 10am local time (9am GMT) and is being given medical treatment.

Bomb squads were deployed to check the area for safety but found no explosives in two backpacks the attacker was carrying.

The Paris public prosecutor's office said the incident was being investigated as an "attempted assassination connected with a terrorist enterprise and association with terrorist criminals".

A spokesperson for the French interior ministry said a "serious public security incident" was underway, saying security forces were at the scene.

The ministry urged people not to spread "false information" and to follow authorities' instructions.

An American tourist visiting Le Louvre described how sirens sounded before emergency escape doors lifted from the ground.

“Four armed guards then sprinted around the grounds outside of the pyramid entrance looking for something,” he wrote on Twitter.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from Le Louvre art gallery, Carrousel du Loure shopping centre, nearby Palais Royal metro station and surrounding gardens.

Around 250 people who had been inside the museum were being held in "safe areas" by police.

It came following a series of Isis-inspired terror attacks in France, with the group calling on its followers to attack "infidels" and members of the security services.

The group massacred 130 people in a series of shootings and bombings in November 2015, and its followers have killed shoppers at a Kosher supermarket, a police officer and his wife and a Catholic priest

Independent News Service


From Belfast Telegraph