A man wielding a knife and shouting “Allahu Akbar” killed one man and injured four others in a suspected terror attack in central Paris, before police shot him dead on Saturday, French authorities said.
The assailant had stabbed at the bystanders and then rushed at police shouting, “I will kill you, I will kill you!” police union representative Rocco Contero told Reuters.
The attack is being investigated by counterterrorism officials, and the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility and said the assailant was a “soldier” of the group, according to the Associated Press.
ISIS’ Aamaq news agency said in a statement that Saturday night’s attack was in response to the extremist group’s call for supporters to target allies of the US-led coalition to eliminate ISIS from Iraq and Syria.
Two of the four victims who were injured in the attack were in critical condition, according to French media outlets. Authorities had not yet identified the victims or the attacker as of Saturday night.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted his thoughts for the victims and praised the police who “neutralized the terrorist.” He also vowed that France would not give an inch to “enemies of freedom.”
Prosecutor Francois Molins said authorities are investigating potential charges of murder and attempted murder in connection with terrorist motives.
“At this stage, based on the one hand on the account of witnesses who said the attacker cried ‘Allahu akbar’ (God is great in Arabic) while attacking passersby with a knife, and given the modus operandi, we have turned this over to the counterterrorist section of the Paris prosecutor’s office,” Molins told reporters, according to the Associated Press.
The attack occurred in Paris’ Opera district, the BBC reported.
France’s Interior Minister, Gérard Collomb, denounced the “odious” attack in a tweet, and praised the police officers who took down the assailant.
France has been on high alert for terror attacks in recent years, after a string of deadly ISIS-inspired massacres.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.