Tuesday, January 22, 2019
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ISIL claims deadly knife attack in Paris

Attacker, who was shot dead by French police, identified as man born in Chechnya in 1997.

central Paris

A knife attack in Paris, which left one person dead and four others injured, has been claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

The attacker, identified as a man born in Chechnya in 1997, was shot dead by police after the attack on Saturday near the main opera house in the French capital.

The assailant's father and mother are in custody for questioning by French police, a judicial source said on Sunday.

The French government has opened a "terrorism" investigation into the attack. 

French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to the police officers for neutralising the "terrorist". 

"France once again pays the price of blood but does not give an inch to the enemies of freedom," Macron said in a Tweet on Saturday.

"All my thoughts are with the victims and wounded of the knife attack perpetrated in Paris tonight, as well as their loved ones," he added.

Scenes of panic

The attack took place shortly before 9pm (19:00 GMT) in the Paris opera district, filled with restaurants, bars and tourist attractions. 

Witnesses described scenes of panic as the knife-wielding man stabbed passers-by. 

"I was taking orders, and I saw a young woman trying to get into the restaurant in panic," Jonathan, a waiter at a Korean restaurant, told AFP news agency.

The woman was bleeding, and the attacker appeared behind her. He said a young man tried to fend off the attacker, who then fled.

"The attacker entered a shopping street, I saw him with a knife in his hand," he said. "He looked crazy."

Milan, 19, said he saw "several people in distress" including a woman with wounds to her neck and leg.

"Firemen were giving her first aid. I heard two, three shots and a policeman told me that the man had been overpowered," he told AFP news agency.

Paris was the site of a series of coordinated attacks, also claimed by ISIL, in November 2015 which left 130 people dead. 

A state of emergency put in place just after the 2015 Paris attacks was lifted in October when Macron's centrist government passed a new law boosting the powers of security forces.

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