A knife-wielding madman attacked people seemingly at random-in a busy section of Paris Saturday before he was fatally gunned down by police.
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on social media, saying the suspect, an Islamic state soldier, “carried out the operation in response to calls targeting the coalition countries.”
A 29-year-old man died and four others were wounded in the attack, carried out near the Palais Garnier opera house in the Second Arrondissement, according to Parisian police.
Two of the wounded individuals are in critical condition, said police, who confirmed that they took down the suspect around 9 p.m.
The two gravely injured people — one woman and one man — were each struck in the throat, according to Le Parisien.
The assailant—a north-African man in his mid-20s, allegedly told police, “Kill me or I’ll kill you,” according to local media reports.
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the suspect — who has not yet been identified — cried “Allah Akbar” as he carried out the attack, BFM TV reported.
An eyewitness reported that police tried to Tase the suspect before firing two shots at him, according to France 24 reporter Charles Pellegrin.
“I just saw the man knifing random people,” wrote Twitter user Esohe Denise Odaro.
Diners at restaurants along rue Saint-Augustin panicked and took cover.
A woman said “we were relaxed, drinking among girlfriends and then all of a sudden we heard gun shots. Then, panic erupted on the street. We didn’t understand and our waiters said, ‘quick, quick, run, go find shelter.’ So we hid. I was curious so I wanted to leave the restaurant. As I walked out I saw a guy lying on the ground. It looked like he was dead. Then police arrived. There were a lot of them,” the witness told BFM TV.
French President Emmanual Macron reacted to the attack on Twitter.
“France once again paid the price of blood but does not give an inch to the enemies of freedom,” Macron said.
Interior minister Gerard Collomb also tweeted about the attack.
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said: “Tonight, our city was murdered. My first thoughts go to the family of the victim who lost their life. I think as much of the injured and their loves ones. I want to tell them that all Parisians are by their sides.”
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