One dead, several injured in Paris knife rampage
A KNIFEMAN who was shot dead by police in central Paris late Saturday shouted "Allahu akbar" as he went on a murderous rampage, prompting a terror investigation.
The attack took place near the city's main opera house in an area full of bars, restaurants and theatres which were brimming on a weekend night.
French President Emmanuel Macron said "France once again pays the price of blood", and commended the police who "neutralised the terrorist" in the attack.
Saturday's assault is the latest to strike a nation rocked by a series of jihadist attacks in the last three years that have killed more than 245 people.
The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility in a statement published online, but provided no corroborating proof.
"The executor of the stabbing operation in the city of Paris is a soldier of the Islamic State and the operation was carried out in response to the calls to target the coalition states," a "security source" told IS's official Amaq news agency.
The man, who has not yet been named, attacked five people with a knife, one of whom died, police said. Two were in serious condition and all the victims are in hospital.
Shortly after the attack, French authorities confirmed a knife-wielding assailant stabbed one person to death and injured four in the centre of Paris before being shot dead by police.
"A person attacked five people in the second district of Paris. Police intervened immediately," Pierre Gaudin, a senior official at the Paris prefecture, told reporters.
"The individual died. Another person, seriously injured (by the attacked) died from their injuries."
Police added that of the four others injured in the rampage, two are suffering serious injuries.
The identity of the attack suspect and reason for the attack are unclear.
The Sun reports that journalist Charles Pellegrin, an eyewitness, said: "I came out of a comedy show near Opera in central Paris and was immediately told to go back in because there was a madman with a knife.
"Once back inside we heard sirens and two gun shots.
"I then spoke to eyewitnesses who told me a man stabbed multiple people at random."
Another eyewitness Fiona Zanetti tweeted: "I was in a restaurant rue saint Augustin in the 2eme arrondissement, crowd panic, blood, a guy with a knife in the streets and people screaming, avoid the area if you can."
French authorities are denouncing the attack. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the alleged attacker was "neutralised" by police and has praised the "cool and quick reaction" of the officers.
Police have set up a perimeter and say the situation is under control.
One person has been killed and several injured in central Paris by a man armed with a knife, who was shot dead by police, security sources say of the attack that occurred near the city's main opera house pic.twitter.com/6DpkX57Ftx— AFP news agency (@AFP) May 12, 2018
A judicial source said authorities were looking into whether the anti-terrorism prosecutor's office should be handling the case.
Paris has been under higher security in recent years after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.
More to follow ...