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article imageFrench police shoot dead 'Allahu Akbar' assailant

By Robert Myles     Dec 21, 2014 in World
Tours - French Prime Minister Manuel Valls vowed yesterday that those who “prey on the police” would face the face “the full severity of the state” following an attack at a French police station in a normally quiet suburb of Tours.
The French Premier's remarks came after French police shot and killed an assailant armed with a knife who’d injured three police officers at a police station in central France.
The attack occurred around 2 p.m., Saturday afternoon. A man in his twenties, reported by BBC News to be of Burundi extraction, and with a previous criminal record, went on the rampage carrying what the same report described as “a long knife, like a kitchen knife” attacking police officers stationed at Joué-les-Tours, near the city of Tours in France’s Central region (Centre).
The attacker was said to have banged on the door and when officers on duty went to see what was going on, the assailant immediately attacked them stabbing one of the officers in the hand with a second officer receiving injuries to his neck and face.
Given the life threatening situation, one police officer opened fire shooting the attacker dead.
The assailant is said to have uttered "Allahu Akbar," Arabic for “God is great!” before dying from the gunshot wound. A statement later released by France’s Interior Ministry said two of the officers were “seriously injured” although none of the police officers’ injuries are reported to be life threatening.
A source close to the investigation told French-language 20 Minutes the incident “looks like the modus operandi advocated by the Islamic State group", involved in jihad in Syria and Iraq, "to attack the police."
The spokesman said the investigation into the incident was “moving towards an attack motivated by radical Islam."
France’s Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, responsible for homeland security in France, visited the police station in central France Saturday afternoon. Cazeneuve condemned, “in the strongest terms,” what he referred to as, “this heinous act” while offering his full support to the police in Joué-les-Tours, which lies just south of Tours, the one-time capital of France.
Cazeneuve, who hoped to visit injured officers in hospital late Saturday, said the incident demonstrated the daily exposure all police officers, gendarmes and fire-fighters in France face from this sort of risk.
Late Saturday evening, the Interior Minister issued instructions to all administrative prefectures, the national police and the gendarmerie to strengthen personal security measures, not just at police stations and gendarmerie barracks, but also with police and gendarmes involved in traffic patrols. The French government, Cazeneuve said, “is determined to combat all forms of terrorism that threaten the security of France and all public officials and keep a round the clock watch over them.”
The attacker had not previously come to the attention of law officers for terrorism related activities but 20 Minutes reported that the attacker’s brother was known for his “radical positions” and had at one time planned to make his way to Syria.
France’s Paris-based anti-terrorism prosecutor has now launched an investigation into Saturday’s attack on serving French police officers. The investigation is likely to proceed on the basis that charges of conspiracy and attempted murder may possibly be brought at a later date.
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