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Security guards shoot maskless man who pulled knife, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ at Paris railway station

Saint-Lazare station (Clicsouris/WikiCommons)

Security guards at a Paris train station opened fire on a maskless man who allegedly refused to cover his face before charging at them with a knife.

The violence unfolded just before midnight on Monday between tracks 20 and 21 at the the Saint-Lazare station — one of the capital city’s busiest stops, Le Parisien reported. Four officers on patrol at the time approached a man waiting to board a departing train to Pontoise, demanding that he put on a face mask, as required under France’s COVID-19 safety measures.

The suspect refused to comply and instead pulled out a knife and shouted “Allahu Akbar” as he rushed toward the guards, who in turn opened fire, according to local outlets, BFM TV and CNews. He was reportedly struck twice by the gunfire, including once in the chest, and then rushed to a hospital for treatment.

The man remained in life-threatening condition early Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson for Paris prosecutors confirmed to Reuters they had opened an investigation for attempted murder and promoting terrorism.

A motive behind the attack was still unknown, though face coverings and mask mandates have been a point of political contention around the world — particularly in America, where several states have made it illegal for local municipalities to require masks.

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