Knife-wielding man attacked Paris police station
FRENCH police shot dead a cleaver-wielding man yesterday as he attacked a police station in northern Paris, a year to the day since terrorist gunmen killed 12 people at the Charlie Hebdo comic magazine offices.
The man, who reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest), was wearing a pouch under his coat with a wire hanging from it - a sign that he might be outfitted with explosives, the BFM Television reported.
But the "suicide apparatus was later found to be a fake", the Agence France-Presse quoted police and government sources as saying.
"The bomb-disposal unit confirmed it was a fake," Reuters also reported, quoting a police union source.
News of the attack came just after President Francois Hollande wound up a sombre speech at the police headquarters in central Paris to mark the anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo killings.
Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry told the media: "On Thursday morning, a man attempted to attack a policeman at the reception of the police station before being hit by shots from the police."
Explosives experts were deployed to the scene in the multi-ethnic Goutte d'Or district.
Two schools in the area, on Goutte d'Or street, were closed and the children locked inside.
According to the French media, the man had an accomplice who was on the run.
In his speech yesterday, Mr Hollande said the three police officers killed in the January attacks "died so that we could live in freedom".
With France also grieving after the massacre of 130 people by terrorists in Paris in November, Mr Hollande called for greater cooperation between the security services.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group claimed responsibility for November's multiple attacks, whose perpetrators were mainly French-born Muslims.
The Goutte d'Or district is in an area that ISIS said it had planned to hit as part of those attacks.
Among changes set to be introduced in the wake of the November attacks are new guidelines allowing police to keep their weapons even when off-duty.
Mr Hollande reiterated his pledge to boost the number of police and armed gendarmes by 5,000.