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PARIS: An armed man stabbed one person, while four injuring four others on Saturday night in central Paris. The man was later shot dead by police, security sources said.
The man attacked five people with a knife, one of whom died, police said. Two were in critical condition, while all the victims were rushed to the hospital.
The attack took place near the city’s main opera house in an area full of bars, restaurants and theatres which were brimming on a weekend night.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb hailed in a tweet the “sang-froid and reaction of the police who neutralized the attacker.”
A large area was cordoned-off where police, fire and rescue vehicles converged.
Shocked tourists and residents witnessed the scene from behind the security perimeter.
“I was on the cafe terrace, I heard three, four shots, it happened very fast,” said 47-year-old Gloria.
“Then the bartenders told us to come inside very quickly. Then I went out to see what was going on, and then I saw a man on the ground,” she added.
Police said the attacker’s motives were still unknown.
The attack comes as France is under a constant threat from terrorism. A series of jihadist attacks has claimed the lives of over 245 people around France in the past three years.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a deadly knife attack carried out in central Paris late Saturday, according to the SITE monitoring group.
“The executor of the stabbing operation in the city of Paris is a soldier of the Islamic State and the operation was carried out in response to the calls to target the coalition states,” a “security source” told IS’s official Amaq news agency in an Arabic-language report.
The knifeman, reciting “Allahu akbar”, was shot dead by police after he killed one person and injured four, prompting a terror probe.