Paris knife attacker was born in Chechnya, parents in custody: Source

Paris, FranceWritten By: Mithaq KazimiUpdated: May 13, 2018, 01:15 PM IST
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French policemen guard the scene of the attack. Photograph:(Reuters)

The assailant who killed a 29-year-old man in a central Paris knife attack on Saturday night was born in 1997 in the Chechnya region of Russia, a judicial source said on Sunday.

The assailant shouted "Allahu akbar (God is greatest)," as he killed the passer-by and wounded four other people before being shot dead by police.

The father and mother of the attacker are being held for questioning by police, the source said.

The source did not say what the attacker's nationality was. BFM TV said he was Russian.

Earlier, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters the injured were out of danger.

"I have seen the person who was seriously injured and is now better," he said after visiting the victims in hospital.

France has been on high alert amid a series of attacks commissioned or inspired by the Islamic State militant group that have killed more than 240 people since 2015.

France "will not yield an inch to the enemies of freedom," President Emmanuel Macron said shortly after the attack, praising police officers for "neutralizing the terrorist".

Police union representative Rocco Contento told Reuters that the assailant, after attacking bystanders with a knife, rushed at police shouting "I will kill you, I will kill you!"

He was then shot by the officers.

The attack took place in the heart of the French capital, in a district popular with tourists for its many restaurants and cafes, landmark retail stores, and the Paris opera.

A picture seen by Reuters, which a source said showed the attacker, showed a bare-chested and bearded young man dressed in black trousers. A source told Reuters the attacker was not previously known to police.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack via its Amaq news agency, but provided no proof for its claim.

Authorities have not yet revealed the identity of the person killed in Saturday's attack, but the judicial source said he was a man aged 29.