France: 1 dead, 2 injured in central Paris attack

World Sunday 03/December/2023 06:24 AM
By: DW
France: 1 dead, 2 injured in central Paris attack

Paris: French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said late on Saturday that a German tourist had been killed and another person injured in central Paris.

"The police have just courageously arrested an assailant attacking passers-by in Paris, around the Quai de Grenelle," Darmanin wrote. "One decased person and one injured person treated by the Paris Fire Brigade. Please avoid the area."

The Quai de Grenelle, on the banks of the River Seine, is not far from the Eiffel Tower in the center of France's capital.

French President Emmanuel Macron extended his condolences to the family of a German killed in what he called a "terror attack."

"My condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the German citizen who died this evening in the terrorist attack in Paris, and my thoughts are with the people who are currently injured and being cared for," he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. 

Darmanin spoke to reporters at the scene later Saturday night.

He said that the attacker first attacked a "couple" who were German tourists with a knife near Quai de Grenelle, killing one and injuring the other.

Darmanin said the suspect then tried to attack two more people with a hammer while pursued by police, injuring one and leaving the other shocked.

The minister said the man had a prior four-year conviction from 2016, when French authorities foiled attack plans.

French news agency AFP cited unnamed police sources as saying the assailant was French-born and a French citizen, and also a known supporter of radical Islam with mental health issues. Unconfirmed reports suggested the attacker had shouted the Arabic for "God is great" during the attack. 

Darmanin said the country's terrorism prosecution authority was already evaluating the case but had not yet launched a formal terrorism investigation. "After his arrest, he said that he could no longer bear Muslims dying in Afghanistan as well as in the Palestinian Territories," Darmanin said of the attacker.

The assailant then crossed the Bir-Hakeim bridge over the Seine, with police arriving on the scene as he reached the other side.