Police raids after Louvre 'terrorist' shot

Several police raids are under way in Paris after a "terrorist" tried to enter the Louvre museum carrying machetes.

The suspect has been identified as 29-year-old Abdullah Reda Refaei al-Hamamy, who lives in the United Arab Emirates but is originally from Egypt, according to security sources.

Police said raids were taking place at unidentified addresses in the city in the wake of the attempted "terror attack".

Police union official Luc Poignant said one of the raids took place on Rue de Ponthieu, a street near the Champs-Elysees Avenue.


Police raids after Louvre 'terrorist' shot


Image Caption: Armed police secure the area in front of the Louvre in Paris after what has been called a 'terrorist incident'

Parisian prosecutor Francois Molins said the suspect had arrived in France on 26 January after acquiring a one-month tourist visa in Dubai.

He was shot after shouting "Allahu Akbar" and launching himself at a soldier at the entrance to the attraction, police said.

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 is said to have become violent when he was told he could not enter with his bags. Two machetes were found at the scene.


Police raids after Louvre 'terrorist' shot

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

As many as 250 people were locked inside the museum as the incident was dealt with, with groups only being allowed to leave once their identities had been checked.

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

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

The Louvre remained closed on Friday but culture minister Audrey Azoulay said it would reopen on Saturday.

The interior ministry said a large area around the museum, including the gardens, was sealed off.


Police raids after Louvre 'terrorist' shot

Image Caption: Police vehicles outside the Louvre

President Francois Hollande praised the soldiers for preventing a terror attack, and prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the attack was "of a terrorist nature."

The soldier who opened fire was part of Operation Sentinelle, the massive deployment of French military in response to recent attacks.

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 police said the suspect's 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.



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