Assailant shot dead by French police after knife attack near Paris
One victim dead and two others wounded in public park, according to prosecutor
Armed officers secure the perimeter at the Hautes-Bruyeres public park in Villejuif, near Paris. Photograph: EPA
French police shot dead a man near Paris on Friday after he went on the rampage with a knife in a park, killing one person and wounding two more.
The attack happened in the town of Villejuif, about 8km south of central Paris. Police cordoned off the area and ambulances and police vehicles lined a road approaching the park.
The two injured victims were being treated in nearby hospitals, Laure Beccuau, the prosecutor whose office is handling the case, told reporters. “The suspect tried to attack other victims during his murderous spree, who were able to escape,” she said.
A Koran was found in the assailant’s bag. A spokesman for the prosecutor said the attacker was under medication for mental health problems which had led him to be hospitalised in recent months.
“There is no evidence at this stage suggesting he was radicalised,” said the spokesman
Deputy interior minister Laurent Nunez visited the scene and said the attacker would likely have hurt more people if police had not shot him when they did. “It was an extremely courageous act,” said Mr Nunez.
In the past four years, the French capital has been rocked by major attacks resulting in mass casualties.
In October last year, four people were stabbed to death at the Paris police headquarters by Mickael Harpon, an IT specialist working for the police. Prosecutors said that attacker, who was shot dead by police, had come under the sway of radical Islamists.
Co-ordinated bombings and shootings by Islamist militants in November 2015 at the Bataclan theatre and other locations around Paris killed 130 people in the deadliest attacks in France since the second World War Two. – Reuters