Mon, Dec 22, 2014 - Page 6 News List

French police kill ‘Allahu Akbar’ attacker

‘ALLAHU AKBAR’:A source told reporters that the slain man yelled ‘God is great’ in Arabic ‘until his last breath’ while allegedly attacking police officers on Saturday

AFP, JOUE-LES-TOURS, France

Forensic police collect evidence on Saturday outside the police station of Joue-les-Tours, France, where police shot dead a man who reportedly attacked them with a knife in a police station.

Photo: AFP

French police on Saturday shot dead a knife-wielding man who reportedly attacked three officers in a police station while shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great,” in Arabic).

The man allegedly wounded one officer’s face at the entrance to the police station in Joue-les-Tours, a suburb of the central city of Tours, and injured two others before he was killed.

Antiterror investigators of the Paris prosecutor’s office have opened an inquiry into the incident for attempted murder and other offenses related to terrorism.

The perpetrator was said to be a French national born in Burundi in 1994 who was known to police for common crimes, a source close to the investigation told reporters.

The attacker “shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ from the moment he entered until his last breath,” the source said. “It looked like the sort of act called for by Islamic State... The investigation is leading toward an attack... motivated by radical Islamist motives.”

The Islamic State group, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has seized control of sections of Iraq and Syria using brutal violence, has exhorted its followers to mount attacks in the West.

The French Ministry of the Interior said the assailant was about 20 years of age and was “killed [by] police officers present using their issued firearms.”

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls pledged his support for the “seriously injured” officers who were “in a state of shock.”

French Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve, who visited the scene, said the police had been subjected to a “brutal attack.”

He paid tribute to the “cool-headedness and professionalism shown by the police officers.”

He said two of the officers were badly hurt, while the third was lightly injured.

All three were out of danger, Tours’ public prosecutor Jean-Luc Beck told reporters.

“According to the early indications of the probe, all elements point to legitimate self-defense,” he said.

The attacker was not on any watchlists maintained by France’s main domestic intelligence service, the General Directorate for Internal Security, the source said.

However, the source said the assailant’s brother was known to security agencies for what officials termed “his radical convictions” and had at one point planned to travel to Syria.

Cazeneuve said he had ordered “security measures to be stepped up” for police personnel and firefighters across the nation.

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