Paris police shoot man near Notre-Dame after hammer attack

Cheryl Sanders
June 19, 2017

Worldwide desk - Police have shot a man who attacked an officer with a hammer outside the Notre-Dame cathedral in the French capital Paris, officials said on Tuesday.

'Situation under control, one policeman injured, the assailant was neutralised and taken to hospital, ' Paris police said on Twitter.

According to media reports, the attacker took the police officer by surprise in front of the Paris police headquarters by assaulting him with a hammer, causing minor injuries; another officer responded by opening fire.

The attacker was carrying an identity card describing him as an Algerian student, Collomb said, adding that investigators still need to verify his identity, as well as his motivations. The spokesperson, who was not authorized to be publicly named, said the attacker was being hospitalized.

It is the first attack since President Emmanuel Macron won last month's election and comes days before a parliamentary poll in which opinion surveys show Macron on course to win a landslide majority.

The 40-year-old man, who was shot and wounded by police after lunging at the officer, had shouted that he was "a soldier of the caliphate" during the attack on Tuesday and that he was acting in revenge "for Syria". The man was shot in the leg and "neutralized" by police.

Authorities in Paris asked the public to stay away from Notre-Dame, one of France's biggest tourist attractions situated on the banks of the Seine river in the heart of the capital.

Both France and Britain have suffered a spate of militant attacks in recent months.

Investigators are calling the attack an act of terror.

The unidentified man approached a patrol of three policemen from behind and began attacking them, French interior minister Gérard Collomb said.

Prosecutors confirmed the area would remain on lockdown until police were confident there was no further threat.

Matthew Currie Holmes, who was among those inside, tweeted that people inside had been told to stick to the centre of the cathedral and sit in the pews, and that they would be frisked by police on the way out.

France remains under a state of emergency following a string of Islamic extremist attacks.

In November 2015, 130 people were killed by gun-and-bomb attacks on several Paris locations, including the Bataclan concert hall.

In September, Notre-Dame was already the scene of a scare after a auto full of gas canisters was found parked nearby.

Other reports by iNewsToday