PARIS — A knife-wielding man shouting “Allahu Akbar” killed one person and injured four others on Saturday in a popular tour district in Paris. He was killed by police minutes later.
“France has once again paid in blood, but will not give an inch to the enemies of freedom,” French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted.
According to reports, Khamzat Azimov, a 20-year-old French resident who was born in Chechnya, began randomly attacking passersby in the Opera district around 8:47 p.m. as the streets were filled with people. He tried to enter several bars and restaurants, but was prevented by those inside.
Police arrived on the scene within minutes and confronted the suspect.
“I will kill you! I will kill you!” Azimov shouted at the responding officers, according to Reuters.
Police tried to taser the assailant, but as it did not subdue him, police resorted to using lethal gunfire.
“The attacker came down this road here with his hands covered in blood, holding a knife up in the air,” Oliver Woodhead, owner of L’Entente Restaurant, told the outlet RT. “We had three policemen on foot here, and he went toward them. They tried to taser him twice; it didn’t work.”
“He then managed to isolate one of them and move down the street, trying to attack him,” he continued. “There were two shots fired, and he was shot dead two meters in front of the restaurant.”
One of the victims of the knife attack died from their wounds, and two others are listed in serious condition.
The matter is now being investigated as a terror attack. Azimov had reportedly been marked a national security threat two years ago.
“At this stage, based on the one hand on the account of witnesses who said the attacker cried ‘Allahu akbar’ while attacking passersby with a knife, and given the modus operandi, we have turned this over to the counterterrorist section of the Paris prosecutor’s office,” said Prosecutor Francois Molins.
The barbaric Islamic group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the act, but it is not known whether Azimov had ties to the organization.
As previously reported, Paris has suffered a number of terror attacks in recent years, including a strategic massacre in 2015 at the office of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, a publication known for cartoons mocking the Muslim prophet Mohammad and other Islamic figures. The suspects, who had yelled ‘Allahu akbar’ in carrying out the attack, were later killed in a standoff with police.