Paris: 4 killed after Knife attack at police headquarters; attacker shot dead
Paris, Oct 03: Four people were killed on Thursday after a man armed with a knife attacked officers inside Paris police headquarters. However, the motive of the attacker, who was a longtime employee for the police, is still unknown.
Police union official Loic Travers said one police officer suffered fatal wounds and another officer shot the attacker "in a situation that appears to be self-defense."
The area has been cordoned off after the attack. At least one metro station in the vicinity of the building, which is close to Notre-Dame cathedral and other major tourist attractions, was closed.
Accordig to French media, security officials, police, firemen and other emergency responders could be seen out in force on Île de la Cité, the island in the center of Paris where the police headquarters was attacked.At least one metro station in the vicinity of the building, which is close to Notre-Dame cathedral and other major tourist attractions, was closed. Sources told AFP the attacker was shot dead by police in the courtyard of the building, where he was employed.
The man worked in an administrative capacity but it was not immediately clear what his precise work role was. An emergency message was broadcast over loudspeakers at the courthouse next door, announcing "an attack" at the police headquarters and stating the area was "under surveillance". Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, who was due to visit Turkey later on Thursday, postponed his trip to visit the scene of the attack.
"People were running everywhere, there was crying everywhere," said Emery Siamandi, and interpreter who was in the building when the attack happened. "I heard a shot, I gathered it was inside," he told AFP.
"Moments later, I saw police officers crying. They were in a panic." Investigators suspect a workplace dispute sparked the deadliest attack on police in France in years, sources said, but there were no immediate further details.
The Paris prosecutor is at the scene, but anti-terror agencies have not been involved at this stage. "Did he snap, or was there some other reason? It's still too early to say," Loic Travers, head of the Alliance Police union for the Paris region, told BFM television. There was no immediate indication of the possible motives of the attacker.
Since 2015, France has been repeatedly targeted by a succession of attacks blamed on jihadists which have seen both large synchronised assaults and also isolated knife attacks, claiming some 245 victims.
(with PTI inputs)