French police have shot a man outside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris after he attempted to attack them with a hammer and shouted “this is for Syria”.
Also in the terrorist’s possession were two knives.
One police officer sustained minor injuries from the attack.
The man, in addition to shouting his loyalty for Syria, reportedly said he was a “soldier of Daesh (Isil)”.
The main square has been evacuated but police are saying the situation is “under control”.
Anti-terror prosecutors have launched an investigation meaning they consider the attack terror-related.
Gérard Collomb, the interior minister, who visited the scene shortly afterwards, said: “A person armed with a hammer started hitting a police officer. His colleague opened fire, ensuring the attacked officer didn’t suffer any more serious harm.
He added that during the attack the man, who BFMTV said is an Algerian “student’ in his forties, shouted: “This is for Syria.”
According to BFMTV, he had two knives in a bag.
Two “blasts” sparked panic among tourists amassed outside Notre Dame. A man was then seen “lying on the ground inert”, according to a journalist with France Info who works by the cathedral.
According to reports, the attacker was “wounded” in the legs by police, but earlier reports said he had been hit in the chest.
One hundred police have encircled the area in order to check for accomplices.
How people reacted to the incident is shocking. Some ran to nearby shops or restaurants for protection, as any sane person might do.
But a staggering 900 people reportedly remained “calmly sitting inside Notre-Dame” waiting for the incident to end.
Has this now become a normal occurrence? Because if it has, this is all wrong!
A spokesman for the Paris diocese said she had climbed to the third floor and could see the wounded man.
Initially, nobody was allowed out and children in the area were confined in schools. Later police said that they were gradually letting people go while conducting identity checks.
so we are trapped in Notre Dame Cathedral. Something is happening outside we don't know what it is. Police sirens can be heard #NotreDame
— Matthew CurrieHolmes (@mch2k) June 6, 2017
— Linn Gjerstad (@LinnGjerstad) June 6, 2017