Paris knife attacker was known to counter-terrorism police

A knife-wielding attacker who killed a passerby and injured four others in Paris on Saturday evening had been flagged as a security risk and interviewed by counter-terrorist police.

French police took the man’s parents into custody on Sunday for questioning about his links to jihadists in Syria.

The attacker, named as Khamzat Azimov, aged 20, was born in Chechnya but reportedly obtained French nationality in 2010. He struck at random in the busy area of restaurants and theatres near ’s Opera Garnier in the city’s second arrondissement, at about 8.50pm local time.

Police were quickly on the scene as the knifeman walked from restaurant to restaurant on rue Monsigny, a one-way street, apparently looking for victims. Panicked diners fled terraces or took refuge under tables inside.

Officers, praised for their sang-froid, reportedly tried to halt him with a stun-gun, but when he continued to threaten them shot him dead.

Witnesses said Azimov shouted: “Go ahead. Shoot. I’m going to get you.”

In the moments before, he stabbed to death a 29-year-old man walking in the street and injured four others. Two of the injured were said to be in a serious, but not life-threatening, condition in hospital.

 

 

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