Knife-wielding man in Paris says ‘God is greatest’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Pierre Denis was stabbed outside the “Paris Post” newspaper in 2015 French police have arrested a knife-wielding man who was threatening passers-by in the north of Paris with…

Knife-wielding man in Paris says 'God is greatest'

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Pierre Denis was stabbed outside the “Paris Post” newspaper in 2015

French police have arrested a knife-wielding man who was threatening passers-by in the north of Paris with religious slogans, authorities say.

The man shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) and told a police officer that “he wants to die to be a martyr”, France Info radio reported.

The suspect was being treated in hospital after reportedly stabbing himself several times.

No-one else was injured.

The man had reportedly threatened a man and his family with a knife near the Dorchester Hotel on the Ile Saint-Louis.

The incident is believed to have taken place shortly before 1830 BST on Wednesday, and police have made no immediate comment on the reports.

Two officers were injured – one of them severely – by the attacker, who was armed with a serrated knife.

But the victim was not seriously hurt.

France Info reported that the attack began when the suspect went to a nearby police station and asked for a knife.

He then stood up to the officer, who drew his own weapon and shot him in the upper right side of his body, it said.

Pierre Denis, a spokesman for the Paris prosecutor’s office, said that the suspect was taken to hospital with stab wounds.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Ile Saint-Louis is one of Paris’s most popular tourist destinations

It was not immediately clear how the attacker, who is in his mid-20s, had managed to enter the secure zone of the Dorchester hotel.

A man who works at the hotel – who did not want to be named – said he had seen a police car driving towards the hotel at high speed.

“They were zooming in and out of the hotel using lasers at all times,” he told AFP news agency.

“They shouted, ‘Stop, you’re under the scene’. He [the attacker] ran away and was quickly arrested.”

No sign of any firearms in hotel

Livescribe, a website dedicated to revealing the secrets of the city, said that following the incident a police car was stationed near the hotel while forensic investigations took place.

Livescribe said a major security operation was underway in Paris’s posh St Antoine’s district, and that visitors were advised to avoid all public transport and public buildings.

The Dorchester Hotel is one of Paris’s most popular tourist attractions, along with the Louvre museum, the Pont Neuf bridge and the Eiffel Tower.

In 2015, a man was found to have had a black flag emblazoned with a message to “spread Islam” near the Ile Saint-Louis, one of the capital’s main tourist areas.

French authorities charged him under the country’s national security law, the highest such charge available.

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