One dead, two injured after attack in central Paris
Paris police close in on the suspect (left) after an attack near the Eiffel Tower. Photo: TND/AAP
A German tourist has died and two people have been injured after a knife and hammer attack near the Eiffel Tower in Paris described as “a terrorist attack” by President Emmanuel Macron.
The German was with his wife on Quai de Grenelle, a few metres from the Eiffel Tower, when a man attacked the couple with a knife, mortally wounding the tourist and injuring his wife.
The 26-year-old attacker ran across a bridge over the River Seine and attacked two more people, hitting a 66-year-old British tourist in the eye with a hammer as he was pursued by police.
The suspect had shouted out “Allahu akbar” (God is Greatest) and told police he was upset because “so many Muslims are dying in Afghanistan and in Palestine” and was also upset about the Gaza situation, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said.
Darmanin said a taxi driver who intervened on the first attack saved the life of the German tourist’s wife.
Police quickly arrested the 26-year-old man, a French national, using a Taser stun gun, Darmanin said.
The suspect had been sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 for planning another attack, was on the French security services’ watch list and was also known for having psychiatric disorders, he said.
“I send all my condolences to the family and loved ones of the German national who died this evening during the terrorist attack in Paris and think with emotion of the people currently injured and in care,” President Macron said on social network platform X.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne expressed defiance in the face of such attacks.
“We will not give in to terrorism,” she wrote on X.
French anti-terrorism prosecutors are leading the investigation into the incident.
The attack in central Paris occurred less than eight months before the French capital hosts the Olympic Games and could raise questions about security at the global sporting event.
The city is planning an unprecedented opening ceremony on the Seine river, with the potential to attract as many as 600,000 spectators.