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Assailant in Paris Knife Attack Born in Chechnya, on Watch List


Policemen and emergency service members stand in a blocked street in Paris after one person was killed and several injured by a man armed with a knife, who was shot dead by police, May 12, 2018.

French authorities say the man responsible for a deadly knife attack in central Paris Saturday was a French citizen who was born in the majority Muslim Russian republic of Chechnya in 1997. He was on a watch list of suspected extremists, but he did not have a criminal record.

French police have taken his parents into custody for questioning. The attacker’s name has not been released.

The assailant stabbed five people. One of his victims, a 29-year-old man died. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Sunday the other four people are expected to survive their wounds.

The attacker died at the scene. He was shot and killed by police, said Collomb, who praised the officers for taking action.

The extremist group Islamic State has said through its news agency that it is responsible for the attack, calling the assailant a “soldier” for its cause.

City prosecutor Francois Molins told reporters the attacker had shouted the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar,” meaning “God is great,” during the attack.

Molins said police will launch an anti-terrorism investigation.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter that France “will not yield an inch to the enemies of freedom.”

Paris police tweeted that the attack took place in the 2nd arrondissement, or district, of the French capital city, which is often crowded with people headed to the famed Opera Garnier and local restaurants.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said it took police less than nine minutes to subdue the attacker from the moment they were alerted.

“This speed, calm and effectiveness allowed them to avoid ... a much heavier toll,” he said.

Paris has been on high alert for terror attacks, as a series of attacks have occurred in France over the past three years.

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