Paris knife attack to be treated as terrorist attack


French anti-terrorist investigators said Saturday they have taken over the probe into an attack by a knife-wielding man who killed one person walking with his wife in a park south of Paris before being shot dead by police.

The man had attacked "several people" in the suburb of Villejuif before being "neutralized", said the Paris police department.

The attacker, who was not wearing any shoes, seriously injured two others before cops shot him dead.

"The suspect tried to attack other victims during his murderous spree, who were able to escape", she said.

The assailant fled to the L'Hay-les-Roses commune, where he was confronted by police outside a Carrefour supermarket.

The victims were taken to nearby hospitals, two of them are in serious condition.

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The police have opened an investigation of murder and attempted murder.

French Interior Minister Laurent Nunez and Paris police chief Didier Lallement later visited the park, around seven miles from the city centre, which is hugely popular with young families.

Philippe Bugeaud, deputy director of the regional judicial police, said there were a number of religious books in the 22-year-old attacker's bag, "some of which we can classify as being Salafist". He is said to have converted to Islam in 2017. Since then, France has been hit by a series of extremist attacks.

The deadliest came in November 2013, when 130 people died in bombings and shootings at Paris's Bataclan concert hall, several bars and restaurants, and the Stade de France sports stadium.

French counter-terrorism prosecutors said they were assessing the scene and authorities were trying to identify the attacker.

The attacker's family was co-operating fully with police, she added.