POLICE shot a man who attacked an officer with a hammer outside France’s Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.
The attacker shouted, ‘this is for Syria’ and wounded one officer before being shot and wounded by other officers, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said.
The Paris prosecutor’s office swiftly began a counter-terrorism investigation.
Collomb said the attacker was carrying kitchen knives and the identification card of an Algerian student.
Preliminary information indicated he had acted alone.
Dozens of armed police sealed off the area and the cathedral in central Paris that is visited by millions of tourists every year was locked down while the security forces secured the area.
Hundreds of tourists were inside the cathedral when the attacker struck.
One posted on Twitter: ‘Not the holiday experience wanted. Trapped in Notre Dame Cathedral after police shoot a man. We are with our 2 terrified children.’
‘Situation under control, one policeman injured, the assailant was neutralised and taken to hospital,’ Paris police said on Twitter.
The officer suffered minor injuries and the attacker has not yet been named.
France is under a state of emergency after a wave of terror attacks since early 2015 that have killed more than 230 people across the country. Soldiers patrol its streets alongside police to guard tourist sites, government buildings and events.
Recent terror attacks in France
- 20 Apr 2017 – A convicted criminal who was investigated for threatening to kill police opens fire at police on the Champs Elysees in Paris, killing one and wounding two. He is shot dead – and the assault is claimed by IS
- 3 Feb 2017 – A machete-wielding Egyptian man shouting “Allahu akbar” attacks French soldiers at Paris’s Louvre Museum – he is shot and wounded
- 26 Jul 2016 – Two attackers slits the throat of a priest at his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, in Normandy. They are shot dead by police
- 14 Jul 2016 – A huge lorry mows down a crowd of people on the Nice beachfront during Bastille Day celebrations, killing 86. IS claims the attack – by a Tunisian-born driver, later shot dead by police
- 13 Jun 2016 -A knife-wielding jihadist kills a police officer and his partner at their home in Magnanville, west of Paris. He declares allegiance to IS, and police later kill him
- 13 Nov 2015 – IS jihadists armed with bombs and assault rifles attack Paris, targeting the national stadium, cafes and Bataclan concert hall. The co-ordinated assault leaves 130 people dead, and more than 350 wounded
- 7-9 Jan 2015 – Two Islamist gunmen storm the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 17 people. Another Islamist militant kills a policewoman the next day and takes hostages at a Jewish supermarket in Paris. Four hostages are killed before police shoot the gunman dead. The other two gunmen are cornered and killed by police in a siege