Paris: Paris police is engaged in a security operation near Notre Dame Cathedral after a French police officer shot and injured a man who attacked him with a hammer outside the cathedral on Tuesday, media reports said. The police urged passers-by to stay away from the area.
The police department tweeted about the operation on Tuesday afternoon but did not provide any details. A large number of police cars filled the area on the Ile de Cite island in the River Seine in the centre of Paris.
Police sealed off the area in front of the cathedral after the incident. French TV reported about panicked tourists fleeing for cover.
The attacker shouted "this is for Syria" before being shot, French interior minister Gerard Collomb said. He was also found to be carrying kitchen knives and had a document identifying him as an Algerian student, the authenticity of which authorities were checking, Gerard Collomb told reporters.
France is under a state of emergency and on its highest possible level of alert following a string of terror attacks that began in 2015, which have killed over 230 people.
In the last fatal attack, a policeman was shot and killed on Paris's prestigious Champs-Elysees Avenue on 20 April, three days before the first round of the presidential election.
Major attacks in France targeted the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in January 2015 and in November that year, gunmen and suicide bombers attacked sites around Paris including the Bataclan concert hall, killing 130 people.
Then in July 2016, a radicalised Tunisian man drove a lorry at high speed through a Bastille Day fireworks display on the Nice waterfront, killing 86 people.
Since then there have been a series of smaller attacks, often targeting security forces.
With inputs from agencies
Published Date: Jun 06, 2017 08:40 pm | Updated Date: Jun 06, 2017 10:46 pm