An individual identified to the French authorities as a radical Islamist with psychological well being troubles stabbed a German vacationer to loss of life and wounded two individuals in central Paris on Saturday earlier than being arrested, officers mentioned.
The assault passed off near the Eiffel Tower throughout a busy weekend evening and got here with the nation on its highest alert for assaults as tensions rise in opposition to the background of the warfare between Israel and Hamas.
“We won’t give in to terrorism,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne wrote on X, previously Twitter, after the assault.
President Emmanuel Macron mentioned he was sending his condolences to the household of a German killed within the “terrorist assault”.
French anti-terror prosecutors mentioned that they might now tackle the investigation.
The attacker was identified to authorities as a radical Islamist and was being handled for psychological sickness, Inside Minister Gerald Darmanin mentioned on the scene by the River Seine,including that the person had shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is best”) earlier than being arrested.
He fatally stabbed the German vacationer, born in 1999, with a knife after which used a hammer to assault others as he sought to flee on the opposite facet of the River Seine.
The world by Bir Hakeim bridge, normally thronging with vacationers and locals, was cordoned off by police and vibrant with the flashing lights of safety forces and emergency companies.
– ‘Violently threatened them’ –
The Paris prosecutor’s workplace mentioned the attacker, born in 1997, is French and has been arrested in an investigation into homicide and tried homicide.
Darmanin mentioned the person had already been sentenced in 2016 to 4 years in jail for planning one other assault which he failed to hold out.
“A person attacked a pair who have been international vacationers. A German vacationer who was born within the Philippines died from the stabbing,” he mentioned.
A taxi driver who witnessed the scene intervened, Darmanin mentioned. The attacker then crossed the Seine attacking others and injuring one with a hammer.
Police chased in pursuit and used a taser to neutralise the person, who was then arrested.
“He had threatened them very violently… he’ll now should reply for his actions earlier than justice,” Darmanin mentioned.
The suspect, who lived along with his dad and mom within the Esonnne area south of Paris, instructed police he couldn’t stand Muslims being killed in “Afghanistan and Palestine”, in accordance with the minister.
Macron, writing on X, thanked safety forces for his or her fast arrest of the suspected attacker and mentioned justice ought to be served “within the title of the French individuals”.
“Paris is in mourning after this horrible assault,” Transport Minister Clement Beaune wrote on X.
– ‘Assist, assist’ –
Joseph S., 37 years outdated, a grocery store supervisor who requested to not give his final title, witnessed the scene, as he sat in a bar.
He heard screams and folks shouting “assist, assist” as they ran. A person wielding an object attacked a person who had fallen down, and inside 10 minutes the police arrived, he instructed AFP.
The nation has suffered a number of assaults by Islamist extremists, together with the November 2015 suicide and gun assaults in Paris claimed by the Islamic State group during which 130 individuals have been killed.
There had been a relative lull in recent times, whilst officers have warned that the risk stays.
However tensions have risen in France, dwelling to massive Jewish and Muslim populations, following Hamas’s assault on Israel on October 7 and Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.
Safety in Paris can be beneath explicit scrutiny because it gears as much as host the 2024 Summer season Olympic Video games.
In October, instructor Dominique Bernard was killed within the northern French city of Arras by a younger radicalised Islamist from Russia’s Caucasus area.