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Breaking: Terror attack outside Paris cathedral

"It's for Syria!" An Algerian student carrying a hammer and knives attacked police this afternoon, outside the Notre Dame Cathedral before being shot.

Published: June 6, 2017, 9:09 pm

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    Paris

    An Algerian student, identifying as an ISIS soldier, shouted his revenge as he attacked a French police officer outside the famous Paris Cathedral on Tuesday.

    Panic followed shortly after the 22-year-old police officer was assaulted in the forecourt of the cathedral by a “student” who was carrying kitchen knives, a hammer and other unsophisticated weapons.

    Neutralized and wounded by police fire, the assailant was transported to the hospital. According to a source close to the investigation, he claimed to be “a soldier of the Caliphate”, the Islamic State. According to Gérard Collomb, the French interior minister, the assailant shouted “It’s for Syria” when he hit the policeman.

    A search of the aggressor’s apartment is currently being conducted in Cergy-Pontoise, Val-d’Oise.

    An identity document was found in the name of Farid I. According to information obtained by Le Parisien, the security forces found an identity document bearing the same name on the aggressor with the date of birth given as 18 January 1977. He was unknown to the intelligence services.

    One of the officers responded with two gunshots, which injured the assailant.

    Paris prosecutors opened a counter-terrorism investigation soon after the attack by the hammer-wielding Algerian.

    The Cathedral was locked down and is currently being guarded by soldiers.

    Yesterday ISIS released a statement calling followers in France to “conduct operations of invasion and horror as you have experienced in the cities of Paris and Nice”.

    Collomb told reporters near the cathedral in central Paris: “A man came behind these police officers and, armed with a hammer, started hitting one of them. His colleagues reacted with composure…and fired”.

    The minister confirmed that the man “was in hospital” but had no further details of his condition.

    Former US ambassador to the United Nations Nancy Soderberg was locked inside the Cathedral after the attack.

    She tweeted a photo from inside the Notre Dame showing tourists inside holding up their arms in the air as instructed by police.

    People inside Notre Dame, the nearby Sainte-Chappelle Cathedral and area bars and cafes were told to stay inside during the police operation.

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