Machete-wielding man yelling ‘Allahu akbar’ tries to stab soldier in Paris, is shot

Terrorist in serious condition after hit 5 times by armed patrol outside Louvre; second man arrested, although link unclear

Police officers guard the access to the Louvre museum in Paris,Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Police officers guard the access to the Louvre museum in Paris,Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

PARIS — A French soldier shot and seriously wounded a man in a shopping mall beneath the Louvre Museum on Friday after he shouted “Allahu akbar” and tried to attack security forces with a machete, officials said.

The man was carrying two backpacks, and had two of the large knives. When soldiers and police officers on patrol told the man that he could not come in with his bags, he attacked, said Yves Lefebvre, a police union official.

“That’s when he got the knife out and that’s when he tried to stab the soldier,” he said. The soldier was slightly wounded on the scalp.

A soldier opened fire and the man was struck five times, once in the stomach, Paris police chief Michel Cadot said. The backpacks didn’t contain any explosives, he said.

Rescue workers carry a stretcher outside the Louvre museum in Paris,Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Rescue workers carry a stretcher outside the Louvre museum in Paris,Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

A spokesman for the military force that patrols key sites in Paris said the four-man patrol of soldiers at the Louvre tried to fight off the assailant before one of them opened fire.

Spokesman Benoit Brulon said the soldier who was injured by the attacker was not the one who opened fire.

Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called the attack “terrorist in nature” after the incident that caused streets around the world-famous museum to be sealed off.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who visited the site of the attack, praised the “response and professionalism” of the soldiers.

The museum in the center of Paris is one of the French capital’s biggest tourist attractions. 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.

Rescue workers vans park carry outside the Louvre museum in Paris, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Rescue workers vans park carry outside the Louvre museum in Paris, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that a second person also was arrested but it is unclear whether that individual was linked to the attack. Brandet said about 1,000 people were inside the actual museum and were held inside in safe areas.

The French capital has seen a spate of attacks, some claimed by the Islamic State group, since 2015. Friday’s incident created panic.

Olivier Majewski was just leaving his scooter in the parking lot beneath the Louvre when he saw a crush of people, 30 or 40, running and screaming “there’s been a terror attack.” The 53-year-old said he hid for about 15 minutes before gingerly making his way upstairs. He said people were clearly scared.

“They were panicked,” he said.

Police officers patrol at the pyramid outside the Louvre museum in Paris,Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Police officers patrol at the pyramid outside the Louvre museum in Paris, Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Most Popular
read more: