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Notre Dame Hammer Attacker Shot after Attacking Police - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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French police shot and wounded a man who attacked officers with a hammer outside the Notre Dame cathedral on Tuesday and the Paris prosecutor’s office swiftly launched a counter-terrorism investigation.

The perpetrator has yelled “This is for Syria” before bashing a police officer in the head outside the cathedral, a top official revealed, as a terror investigation was under way.

Armed police cordoned off the site and the cathedral in central Paris that is visited by millions of tourists every year was locked down during the incident. It comes just three days after extremist militants killed seven people in London in a knife and van attack.

“Situation under control, one policeman injured, the assailant was neutralized and taken to hospital,” Paris police said on Twitter.

Two police sources said the officers shot the assailant in the thorax after he had threatened them with a hammer and refused to stop. One policeman was hurt, according to one source.

Karine Dalle, a spokeswoman for the Paris diocese, told BFM TV 900 people were still inside the cathedral as police secured the area.

France is under a state of emergency after a wave of militant attacks since early 2015 that have killed more than 230 people across the country.

It has soldiers patrolling its streets alongside police to protect tourist sites, government buildings and events.

Three women were arrested in September after police found a car laden with gas cylinders abandoned near Notre Dame cathedral in what the interior ministry at the time said was a likely planned imminent attack.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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