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Paris attack suspect 'of Chechen origin'

13/05/18   BBC: The suspect in a deadly knife attack in central Paris on Saturday evening was born in 1997 in the Russian republic of Chechnya, a judicial source says.
The attacker killed a 29-year-old man and wounded four other people in the busy Opéra district before being shot dead by police.
The suspect had shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest), witnesses said.
So-called Islamic State (IS) later said one of its "soldiers" had carried out the attack.
The judicial source told French media the suspect's parents had been held for questioning.
Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said the victim of the attack was a 29-year-old passer-by, but gave no further details.
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted (in French): "France has once again paid in blood, but will not give an inch to the enemies of freedom."
The attacker began stabbing passers-by at about 21:00 local time (19:00 GMT).
Eyewitnesses described him as a young man with brown hair and a beard, dressed in black tracksuit trousers.
The man tried to enter several bars and restaurants but was blocked by people inside. Police arrived at the scene within minutes.
They first tried to stop the assailant with a stun-gun before shooting him dead.
An eyewitness, named as Gloria, told AFP news agency: "We didn't know what was going on, we were quickly moved inside the bar, I went outside and I saw a man lying on the floor."
Jonathan, a waiter at a local restaurant, told AFP: "I saw him with a knife in his hand. He looked crazy."
He said a woman the attacker had stabbed ran into into the restaurant bleeding. The assailant tried to follow her inside, but was fended off and finally fled.
Two of the wounded in the attack are in a serious condition but do not have life-threatening injuries.
Later in the evening the IS group said it was behind the attack, in a brief statement posted on its news outlet.
The anti-terrorism unit of the Paris prosecutor's office has launched an investigation.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said police were on the scene five minutes after an emergency call and the assailant was killed within nine minutes of beginning the attack.
Mr Collomb praised police for their "cool response". He said his first thoughts were "with the victims of this heinous act".
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted (in French): "Tonight, our city was bruised."
France has been on high alert following a series of attacks. More than 230 people have been killed by IS-inspired jihadists in the past three years.
The deadliest violence occurred on 13 November 2015, when gunmen and suicide bombers struck various venues in Paris almost simultaneously - killing a total 130 people.
Paris attacks: What happened on the night After winning last year's elections, President Macron pledged that fighting Islamist terrorism would be his top foreign policy priority.
Defeating IS in Iraq and Syria must go hand-in-hand with anti-terror measures in Africa, he said.


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