File photo of French President Emmanuel Macron. Photograph:( Reuters )
President Emmanuel Macron called the killing of three people in southern France on Friday and act of "Islamist terrorism", but said security services were still checking whether the Islamic State group was really behind the attack as it claims.
While addressing the crowd at the French Interior Ministry in Paris, Macron said an ongoing investigation will seek answers to when and how the gunman was "radicalised" and where he obtained his weapon.
"Our country has suffered today an act of islamist terror in Carcassonne and Trebes. An individual killed three people and injured 16 others."
"I want to tell the nation tonight of my absolute determination in leading this fight," said Macron, who returned to Paris from Brussels to chair a crisis meeting with ministers and security officials.
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb had affirmed earlier on Friday that the attacker had no signs of Islamist radicalisation.
Macron also saluted police, notably the injured senior officer who had offered to take the spot of civilians being held hostage by the "terrorist" during the Friday attack.
"I want to salute their (police's) commitment and professionalism, as well as their courage, and particularly the courage a senior official of the gendarmerie who volunteered to substitute himself to other hostages and who was gravely injured. He saved lives and has honored his arm and his country. He's currently fighting against death and our thoughts go to him and to his family."
More than 240 people have been killed in France in attacks since 2015 by assailants who pledged allegiance to Islamic State or were inspired by the group. Islamic State claimed responsibility for Friday's attack but offered no details.