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Soldier shoots machete-wielding man at Louvre museum in Paris

Paris police say a soldier has opened fire outside the Louvre Museum on a man armed with knife and the area is being evacuated. The suspected attacker carried a suitcase and was trying to enter
India TV News Desk Paris February 03, 2017 18:03 IST
India TV News Desk

A French soldier shot and seriously wounded a man near the Louvre Museum today after he tried to attack them and shouted "Allahu akbar," officials said.

The man was carrying two backpacks, and he had two machetes, and when soldiers and police officers on patrol told the man that he could not come in with his bags, he attacked, said Yves Lefebvre, a police union official.

"That's when he got the knife out and that's when he tried to stab the soldier," he said.

A soldier opened fire and the man was struck five times, once in the stomach, Paris police chief Michel Cadot said. The backpacks didn't contain any explosives, he said. One of the soldiers was slightly wounded on the scalp.

The French interior ministry said that anti-terrorism prosecutors are investigating the Louvre attack, but that there were still no details about the identity of the attacker. "Allahu akbar" is the Arabic phrase for "God is great."

The museum in the center of Paris is one of the French capital's biggest tourist attractions. Police have sealed off entrances around where the attack took place and closed the area to vehicles, snarling traffic in a busy part of central Paris. The situation is mainly calm, with confused tourists being gently shooed away by officers.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that a second person also was arrested but it is unclear whether they were linked to the attack. Brandet said about 1,000 people were inside the actual museum and were held inside in safe areas.

The French capital has seen a spate of attacks, some claimed by the Islamic State group, since 2015. Friday's incident created panic.