Police have shot dead a man, armed with a meat cleaver and wearing a fake suicide vest, after he attempted to enter a police station, in Paris, France.
French police shot dead a man wielding a meat cleaver after he tried to enter a police station on Thursday, the anniversary of militant attacks in Paris, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Great) and wearing what turned out to be a fake suicide belt.
The Paris prosecutor said the man had also been carrying a mobile phone and sheet of paper bearing the Islamic State flag and claims of responsibility by the militant group written in Arabic.
Officials have named him as a convicted thief, Sallah Ali, born in Morocco, who was arrested for theft in the south of France in 2013.
The incident took place exactly one year after deadly Islamist militant attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in the French capital and also just minutes after President Francois Hollande had given a speech in an another part of Paris to mark the anniversary.
In his statement, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said a terrorism inquiry had been opened into the incident, which occurred in the 18th district of the capital, an area Islamic State said it had planned to strike in November.
“(The man) shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and had wires protruding from his clothes. That’s why the police officer opened fire,” said a police official.
French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet later said the suicide belt the man was wearing had proved to be fake.
France has been on high alert ever since the shootings last January at the Charlie Hebdo office and at a Jewish supermarket in which 17 people died over three days. Security concerns were further heightened in November, when 130 people were killed in the capital in coordinated shootings and suicide bombings that targeted a music hall, bars and restaurants and a soccer stadium.
Islamic State, the militant group that controls swathes of Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the Nov. 13 attacks. Several of the militants involved in those attacks were, like last January’s killers, French-born.