'Terrorist' armed with machete shot at Louvre

A French soldier has shot a man after he tried to enter the Louvre museum in Paris carrying a machete and two backpacks.

Paris police chief Michel Cadot said the attacker shouted "Allahu akbar (God is greatest)" as he "launched" himself at the soldier in the Carrousel du Louvre area of the popular attraction.

The soldier - part of a four-man patrol - fired five times, hitting the man in the legs and stomach and seriously injuring him.

The assailant became violent when he was told he could not enter with his bags. Two machetes were found at the scene.


'Terrorist' armed with machete shot at Louvre


Image Caption: Armed police secure the area in front of the museum after the attack

Mr Cadot said: "We are dealing with an attack from an individual who was clearly aggressive and represented a direct threat, and whose comments lead us to believe that he wished to carry out a terrorist incident."

A spokesman for the French interior ministry said the identity of the attacker was unknown.

Witnesses reported seeing a crowd of people running away from the scene and screaming.

As many as 250 people have been locked inside the museum and will allowed out in groups when their identities have been checked.

One Twitter user, called Maya, wrote: "We've all been locked inside ... there are hundreds of vans outside."


'Terrorist' armed with machete shot at Louvre

Image Caption: Twitter user Maya posted this picture of people being kept inside the Louvre

A second person has been detained after they were spotted behaving suspiciously near the scene, the police chief said. They are not thought to be linked to the Louvre incident, which happened at around 10am local time.

France's interior ministry said a large area around the Louvre, including the gardens, has been sealed off.

The soldier who opened fire was part of Operation Sentinelle, the massive deployment of French military on the streets after the terror attacks in France in 2015 and 2016.


'Terrorist' armed with machete shot at Louvre

Image Caption: Armed police outside the Louvre after the attack

Another soldier is understood to have suffered a slight head injury in the attack.

Europe 1 radio station reported that bomb disposal officers were at the scene, but the police chief said the bags did not contain explosives.

France has been on its highest state of alert following terror attacks in Paris and Nice in the last two years.

In January 2015, 17 people were killed when gunmen attacked the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris and shoppers at a Jewish supermarket.

In November 2015, gunmen and suicide bombers linked to Islamic State attacked bars, restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall and the national stadium in the French capital, killing 130 people.

Last July, a Tunisian man drove a lorry through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing 86 people.



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