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France: German killed in central Paris attack, 2 wounded

Published December 2, 2023last updated December 3, 2023

The assailant attacked passers-by with a knife and a hammer in central Paris, killing a German tourist. Officials in France and Germany have condemned the deadly assault.

French police secure the access to the Bir-Hakeim bridge after a security incident in Paris, France December 2, 2023.
A heavy police presence was visible in the area of the attack on Saturday nightImage: Stephanie Lecocq/REUTERS

French and German officials expressed shock and sadness on Sunday, following an attack in Paris that killed a young German tourist and injured two others.

The attack took place on Saturday night at the Quai de Grenelle on the banks of the River Seine, which is located near the Eiffel Tower. 

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told the Funke media group that the attack was an "abominable crime."

"Our thoughts go to the family and friends of the victim, and to the others wounded in this terrible act," Faeser added.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said her thoughts were with the family and friends of the "young German" man who was killed.

The deceased "had almost his whole life ahead of him," Baerbock wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

"Hate and terror have no place in Europe," she added.

On Saturday evening, French President Emmanuel Macron extended his condolences to the family of a German killed in what he called a "terror attack."

"My condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the German citizen who died this evening in the terrorist attack in Paris, and my thoughts are with the people who are currently injured and being cared for," he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. 

What do we know about the attack? 

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin spoke to reporters at the scene on Saturday night. 

He said that the attacker first attacked a German tourist couple with a knife near Quai de Grenelle, killing on the 23-year-old man and injuring the other. 

The assailant then crossed the Bir-Hakeim bridge over the Seine, with police arriving on the scene as he reached the other side. 

Darmanin said the suspect then tried to attack two more people with a hammer while pursued by police, injuring one and causing the other to suffer symptoms of shock.

"After his arrest, he said that he could no longer bear Muslims dying in Afghanistan as well as in the Palestinian Territories," Darmanin said of the attacker.

French police secures the access to the Bir-Hakeim bridge after a security incident in Paris, France December 2, 2023.
Police secured the Bir-Hakeim bridge across the Seine connecting the city's 15th and 16th arondissementsImage: Stephanie Lecocq/REUTERS

Suspect swore allegiance to so-called Islamic State — prosecutor 

The suspect was known to authorities for being a supporter of radical Islam and had also been subject to close psychological surveillance for mental health issues, senior prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard told reporters on Sunday

According to Ricard the suspect pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State in a video released on social networks.

Ricard also told a news conference that the probe currently under way was opened for murder and attempted murder in
connection with a terrorist organisation.

French news agency AFP cited unnamed police sources as saying the assailant was French-born and a French citizen.

Unconfirmed reports suggested the attacker had shouted the Arabic for "God is great" during the attack. 

Three more people have been taken into police custody in connection with the, according to media reports. 

The three people arrested are from the attacker's circle and supposedly include his parents, according to the reports. 

France raised terrorism alert level in October

Several European countries, including France and Germany, have issued warnings of a heightened threat of Islamist attacks in recent weeks amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

France also raised its terror threat alert level in October, soon after Hamas' October 7 terror attacks in Israel, when a teacher was attacked and killed in class. A few days later, the Louvre art museum and the palace of Versailles were evacuated amid a bomb threat

rs, msh/sms (AFP, Reuters)