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Paris knife attack: what we know so far

An assailant wielding a knife killed one person and injured at least four others before being shot and killed by police in Paris on Saturday.

Policemen and emergency service members stand in a blocked street in Paris after one person was killed and several injured by a man armed with a knife, who was shot dead by police in Paris on May 12, 2018.
Policemen and emergency service members stand in a blocked street in Paris after one person was killed and several injured by a man armed with a knife, who was shot dead by police in Paris on May 12, 2018.
Thomas Samson/Getty Images

Two people were killed, including the assailant, and at least four others were wounded in a knife attack on Saturday in Paris.

Paris police said a man killed a 29-year-old man in a knife attack and injured four others before being shot and killed by police in the Opéra district of Paris on Saturday evening. “A person attacked five people in the second district of Paris. Police intervened immediately,” Pierre Gaudin, a senior official at the Paris prefecture, told reporters, according to Reuters.

French authorities on Sunday said the assailant was a French citizen born in 1997 in Russia’s republic of Chechnya. He had been on the police’s radar for radicalism.

Witnesses claimed to hear him shouting “Allahu akbar,” meaning “God is great,” during the attack. The Islamic State took credit for the attack.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb praised the French police on Twitter for their quick and cool response in neutralizing the assailant in his “odious” attack. “My first thoughts are for the victims in this odious attack,” he wrote.

What we know

  • A man killed a 29-year-old man and injured four others in a knife attack in the Opéra district of Paris on Saturday evening.
  • Police shot and killed the attacker, a French citizen born in 1997 in Russia’s republic of Chechnya.
  • Witnesses claimed to hear him shouting “Allahu akbar,” meaning “God is great,” during the attack. The Islamic State took credit for the attack.
  • The assailant was on the police’s radar for potential radicalism, but he had no criminal record. His parents have been detained for questioning.
  • According to BBC, citing France24, witnesses said police officers first tried to taser the attacker but then fired two shots after being unable to stop him.
  • The French interior ministry warned the public to beware of rumors about the attack and to rely only on trusted sources for information.
  • French president Emmanuel Macron said in a pair of tweets that his thoughts are with the victims and their families and saluted the police officers who “neutralized the terrorist.” He said that France, once again, is paying the “price of blood” but won’t cede at all to the enemies of freedom.
  • A witness told the UK’s the Independent that at first bystanders thought two men were fighting in the street before they realize there had been an attack.
  • Paris has been under increased security in recent years after multiple terrorist incidents, including the November 2015 attack by gunmen and bombers that left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded. ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack.

What we don’t know

  • The identity of the assailant or the victims.
  • The assailant’s motivations.