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Knife-wielding attacker is an Egyptian, reveals Paris prosecutor

By Ians

Paris, Feb 4: A machete-wielding man who on Friday attacked soldiers near Louvre Museum in Paris and was shot, was an Egyptian national, a Paris prosecutor has said at a presser.

Francois Molins told reporters on Friday evening that the attacker arrived in France from Dubai at the end of January, Xinhua news agency reported.

Paris Soldiers

"The identity of the perpetrator is not formally established, but the searches allow to identify a 29-year-old Egyptian citizen," Molins said.

Molins said the attacker was not carrying an identity card, but a photo registered in Visabio (a European biometric database including digital photography and fingerprints of visa applicants) was the same of the machete-wielding man.

Investigation is underway to determine the motive and to establish whether the attacker acted alone or have been guided, he added.

According to initial indications, the attacker arrived on January 26 after acquiring a one-month tourist visa. Two days later, he bought two machetes at a store in French capital.

During a raid in the suspect's residence rented in Paris' eighth district, the police found $970 in cash, an iPad and several pre-paid cards.

On Friday morning, the suspect armed with two machetes rushed at four soldiers patrolling the Carrousel du Louvre shopping centre, shouting Allahou Akbar (God the Greatest).

He slightly injured a soldier in his scalp before he was shot and seriously wounded.

In a statement, French President Francois Hollande called the machete-wielding Louvre attack "savage".

France where terrorist alert remains high, has imposed emergency rules since the November 2015 attacks in which gunmen and suicide bombers claiming allegiance to the Islamic State killed 130 people.

A recent attack left 86 victims injured when a man drove a truck into a crowd celebrating the Bastille Day in Nice on July 14, 2016.

"The incident was completely controlled but (terrorism) threat is here to stay and we must confront it," Hollande said at a meeting of European Union leaders in Malta.

"We have mobilised all the necessary means and we'll continue to do so till the time it will take," he added.


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