One dead and four injured as knifeman runs amok in Paris ‘terror attack’
TERROR returned to the streets of Paris last night as a crazed attacker wielding a knife killed one person and injured four others.
Witnesses said police first tasered the knifeman before shooting him dead after he taunted them: ‘Kill me or I’ll kill you.’
Respected newspaper Le Figaro and the French TV Channel Europe 1 both reported that bystanders heard the man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ as he carried out the atrocity.
French authorities were last night treating the incident as terrorismrelated, and Islamic State claimed the man was one of its ‘soldiers’.
People hid in restaurants and doorways as police gave chase, then cordoned off the area in the central 2nd arrondissement, around the Opera House.
About 100 people were evacuated from the area, which was full of drinkers and diners.
Amid the panic and confusion, there were fears of another mass attack in the city where, in November 2015, three heavily armed terrorists stormed the Bataclan concert venue and opened fire, killing 90 people.
Last night, French police said the assailant was not carrying any identity documents but they believed he was in his 20s. His 29-year-old victim had been stabbed in the throat.
French President Emmanuel Macron said: ‘All my thoughts are with the victims and wounded of the knife attack perpetrated in Paris, as well as their loved ones.
‘On behalf of all the French, I salute the courage of the police officers who neutralised the terrorist.
‘France pays once again the price of blood but does not give an inch to the enemies of freedom.’ Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo declared the city had once again been ‘maimed’ but added that she wanted victims to know ‘every Parisian is at their side’.
One witness, identified only as Gloria, 47, told Le Figaro: ‘I heard several shots in quick succession. I knew it was the police.’
Jonathan, a waiter at a restaurant in the Place de l’Opera, said: ‘It looked to me as though the man did not fear anything. I got the impression he was mad or drugged.
‘I saw him wandering the streets with a knife in his hands and a lot of blood. He seemed to be stabbing people at random, attacking anyone who crossed his path.’
A restaurant worker told BFM TV that the man ‘took off his coat and ran directly towards the police’ before they opened fire.
AFTERMATH: A man lies bleeding in a Paris street following last night’s attack