PARIS: French police shot and injured a man who attacked an officer with a hammer outside Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral on Tuesday, while shouting “this is for Syria”.
Police sources said the officer sustained only minor neck injuries in the assault, which comes with France on high alert after jihadists killed seven people in London on Saturday.
The suspect later claimed to be a “soldier of the caliphate” of the militant Islamic State group, according to a source close to the investigation.
The policeman’s colleague opened fire on the man, hitting him in the chest in panicked scenes around the Gothic cathedral that is one of France’s most visited tourist attractions.
The man lay bleeding on the ground as police sealed off the area and searched for possible accomplices.
About an hour after the attack he was taken to hospital and police declared the situation to be under control.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the man had shouted “this is for Syria” as he lunged at the officer.
He said the man had also been carrying “kitchen knives” and was found in possession of a card identifying him as an Algerian student. Anti-terrorist prosecutors were put in charge of the investigation. A witness told AFP he heard someone “shout very loudly”.