A French policeman in the southern town of Cannes was attacked by a man with a knife claiming to act “in the name of the prophet” on Monday but was unharmed, the interior minister and police sources said.
The police sources had previously indicated that their colleague had been wounded in the attack, which saw the knifeman shot and seriously wounded.
“The policeman who was stabbed has fortunately not been physically injured thanks to his bulletproof vest,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote on Twitter.
The police sources said the incident was being treated as a possible terrorist attack, and Darmanin announced he was heading to the scene.
The officer was behind the wheel of a car in front of a police station at 6:30 a.m. (05:30 GMT) when the attacker opened the door and stabbed him with a knife, one source said on condition of anonymity.
He then tried to stab another officer sitting in the car, according to some reports.
The attacker was severely injured by another police officer who opened fire, and was in a serious condition.
Je viens d’arriver au commissariat de Cannes, là où nos policiers ont été victimes d’une attaque terroriste.
Soutien et félicitations aux 4 fonctionnaires pour leur sang froid et leur courage face à l’attaque. pic.twitter.com/xL8b7OUbZc
— Eric Ciotti (@ECiotti) November 8, 2021
French police have been targeted in a series of attacks from Islamic extremists in recent years, leading to calls for better protection and harsher jail sentences.
In April, a police employee was stabbed to death in the secure entrance to a station in the quiet Paris commuter town of Rambouillet, while an officer was seriously wounded in a knife attack near the western city of Nantes in May.
In October 2019, three officers and one police employee in Paris were stabbed to death in the headquarters of the Paris police by a radicalized IT employee.
Each attack has sharpened attention on the danger of Islamic extremism in France, which has suffered a wave of violence over the last decade from radicals inspired by al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group.
Security is also a key issue ahead of presidential elections in April next year.