Early this morning, a French soldier was attacked outside the Louvre museum in Paris by a knife-wielding man. The attacker was carrying multiple weapons and attempting to enter a crowded shopping area at the museum. He attacked the soldiers after they would not let him enter.
From the AP:
A knife-wielding man shouting “Allahu akbar” attacked French soldiers on patrol near the Louvre Museum Friday in what officials described as a suspected terror attack. The soldiers first tried to fight off the attacker and then opened fire, shooting him five times.
The attack at an entrance to a shopping mall that extends beneath the museum sowed panic and again highlighted the threat French officials say hangs over the country, which was hit repeatedly by extremist attacks in 2015 and 2016.
A police union official said the attacker was carrying two backpacks and had two machetes. He said the man launched himself at the soldiers when they told him that he could not bring his bags into the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall underneath the world-famous museum where the “Mona Lisa” hangs.
In a follow-up, the AP reported a short time ago that civilians and employees were allowed to return to the museum and shops.
Staff members are returning to a shopping mall beneath the Louvre Museum and roadblocks have been cleared after a man was shot after trying to attack a soldier guarding the site.
Police said the area around the attempted attack was evacuated following the incident. A French soldier shot the attacker — who shouted “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great” — and seriously wounded him.
As the roadblocks were cleared, tourists began streaming out of the Louvre.
Paris has repeatedly been the site of Islamic terror in the last few years. It remains to be seen whether the attacker was from France or abroad and, if foreign, by what method he entered the country.
We will have more as information becomes available.