Soldier Opens Fire on Paris Attacker

Machete-wielding man shouted 'Allahu akbar'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 3, 2017 4:55 AM CST
Soldier Opens Fire on Paris Attacker
Police officers patrol at the pyramid outside the Louvre Museum in Paris on Friday.   (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

(Newser) – A French soldier shot and seriously wounded a man in a shopping mall beneath the Louvre Museum on Friday after he tried to attack a patrol and shouted "Allahu akbar," officials say. The man was carrying two backpacks and had two machetes, and when soldiers and police officers on patrol told the man that he couldn't come in with his bags, he attacked, a police union official says, per the AP. "That's when he got the knife out and that's when he tried to stab the soldier," he says. A soldier opened fire and the man was struck five times, once in the stomach, Paris Police Chief Michel Cadot says. The backpacks didn't contain any explosives, he says. One of the soldiers was slightly wounded on the scalp.

Cadot says the suspect's "comments lead us to believe that he wished to carry out a terrorist incident," the Guardian reports. The French interior ministry says that anti-terrorism prosecutors are investigating the Louvre attack, but there are still no details about the identity of the attacker. Police have sealed off entrances around where the attack took place and closed the area to vehicles, snarling traffic in a busy part of central Paris. The situation is mainly calm, with confused tourists being gently shooed away by officers. Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet says that a second person also was arrested, but it's unclear whether that person was linked to the attack. Brandet says about 1,000 people who were inside the actual museum during the attack were held inside in safe areas. (Read more Paris stories.)

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