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paris attack

A 29-year-old man has been killed and other four people wounded in a knife attack in the busy Opéra district of Paris on May 12.

According to witnesses, the suspect had shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) before being shot dead by police.

ISIS later said one of its “soldiers” had carried out the attack.

France has been on high alert following a series of attacks in Paris and Lyon. More than 230 people have been killed by ISIS-inspired jihadists in the past three years.

Security forces have identified the attacker as being born in 1997 in the Russian republic of Chechnya, although he was not carrying any identification papers and has not been officially named. Chechnya is a republic in the North Caucasus region of southern Russia.

The republic declared independence in 1991 but Russian troops invaded in 1994 to quash it, sparking a decade-long conflict.

Image source Wikimedia

Paris Attack: Gunman Shoots Dead Police Officer on Champs Elysees

How Paris Attacks Impact France’s Service Sector

Jihadist groups, including those aligned with ISIS, have long operated in the region.

The judicial source told French media the suspect had no criminal record and that his parents had been held for questioning. Another source told Reuters the suspect was not previously known to police.

The suspect is believed to be a French national.

This is thought to be the first time an assailant of Chechen origin has carried out a terrorist attack in France.

France is home to some 30,000 people of Chechen origin.

France’s Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said the man who died was a 29-year-old passer-by, but gave no further details.

The four who were injured have also not yet been named. AFP news agency, citing sources, said a 34-year-old man and a 54-year-old woman were seriously hurt, while a 26-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man were slightly wounded.

Gérard Collomb said none had life-threatening injuries.

The attacker began stabbing passers-by at about 21:00 local time.

Eyewitnesses described him as a young man with brown hair and a beard, dressed in black tracksuit trousers.

The attacker tried to enter several bars and restaurants but was blocked by people inside.

Police first tried to stop the assailant with a stun-gun before shooting him dead, nine minutes after he began the attack.

French voters are going to the polls to choose their next president, amid high security following a deadly attack on Champs Elysees three days ago.

About 50,000 police and 7,000 soldiers are being deployed across France to secure polling.

Eleven candidates are vying to be France’s next president, with leading candidates spanning the political spectrum from far-left to far-right.

The two with the most votes will go to a run-off round in a fortnight’s time.

Polling stations in France opened at 08:00 local time, although some overseas territories began the voting on April 22. Voting ends at 20:00, with exit polls expected quickly afterwards.

Four candidates are currently seen as being within reach of the presidency: conservative François Fillon, far-right leader Marine Le Pen, liberal centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

Image source France24

The candidates have created plenty of debate in France, all offering dramatically different visions of Europe, immigration, the economy and French identity.

Extra security measures are in place on polling day after Karim Cheurfi, a convicted criminal, shot dead a police officer on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

Karim Cheurfi was killed by security forces and a note defending ISIS was found near his body.

National security had been one of the main talking points during the campaign, but candidates have been accused of exploiting the most recent attack for political gains.

The race between the leading contenders is considered too close to call.

However, no candidate is expected to get the 50% of votes required for an outright win.

A second round between the top two will be held on May 7.

Francois Fillon is the only one among the leading contenders from an established party of government.

Benoît Hamon, the socialist candidate from the same party as the current president, is seen as out of the running.

President François Hollande is not seeking a second term, and is the first French president in modern history not to do so.

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A police officer has been shot dead and two other wounded after a gunman opened fire on Paris’ Champs-Elysees on April 20.

The 39-year-old gunman has been identified from papers left in his car, but French officials are yet to release his name.

Local media say the suspect lived in Paris’ suburbs, and had been seen as a potential Islamist radical.

The attacker was killed by security forces on the Champs-Elysees.

President François Hollande is to chair a security cabinet meeting, as France readies for April 23 presidential poll.

Francois Hollande said he was convinced the attack was “terrorist-related”, adding that the security forces had the full support of the nation and a national tribute would be paid to the fallen policeman.

Meanwhile, ISIS said one of its “fighters” had carried out the attack.

A car pulled up alongside a police bus just before 21:00 and a man got out, opening fire on the bus with an automatic weapon, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

After killing an officer, the man attempted to run away while shooting at other officers, two of whom he injured, the spokesman added.

The attacker was then shot dead by security forces.

The whole of the Champs-Elysees was evacuated.

Overnight, a property in the eastern Parisian suburb of Chelles was searched by investigators, who want to know who else – if anyone – may have known about the gunman’s plans.

Paris prosecutor François Molins said shortly after the shootings that “the attacker’s identity is known and has been verified”.

Image source NBC News

“I won’t reveal it, because investigations and raids are already under way, in particular to establish whether there is any evidence or not of complicity (in this attack),” Francois Molins said, adding that more information would be released on April 21.

According to French media, the gunman served several years in prison for firing on police officers with a gun in the early 2000s.

More recently the intelligence services identified him as a potential Islamist radical.

Meanwhile, ISIS identified the attacker as Abu-Yusuf al-Baljiki, in a statement carried by its Amaq news outlet.

The 11 candidates standing in April 23 closely fought presidential election were engaged in a final joint TV appearance to argue their policies as the attack happened.

Marine Le Pen, of the far-right Front National, tweeted: “I feel for and stand by our security forces, who have been targeted again.”

Center-right contender François Fillon also went on Twitter to pay “tribute to the security forces who give their lives to protect ours”.

Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron said during his TV appearance that it was a president’s “first duty to protect” and he expressed his “solidarity” with the police.

Marine Le Pen, Francois Fillon and Emmanuel Macron have announced they are canceling campaign events scheduled for April 21, the last day of canvassing for votes.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, standing for the far left, tweeted: “I strongly feel for the policemen killed and wounded and their families. Terrorist attacks will never go unpunished, accomplices never forgotten.”

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A 29-year-old Egyptian man is believed to be the attacker at the Louvre museum on February 3, French authorities said.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said the man is thought to have traveled to Paris from Dubai on a tourist visa last month.

Police are trying to establish if the man acted alone or under instructions, he added.

Prosecutor Francois Molins stated the attacker, who was shot by the soldiers, sustained life-threatening injuries, though he is at a hospital. Molins added the man had no identifying documentation, but investigators used his cellphone to determine his resident in the UAE.

One of the soldiers received minor injuries when the man tried to enter the museum.

Louvre has topped the list of the most visited art museums of 2012

Louvre has topped the list of the most visited art museums of 2012

At the time of the incident, hundreds of visitors were inside the Louvre, which is home to numerous celebrated art works, including the Mona Lisa.

France’s President Francois Hollande praised the soldiers’ actions, saying “this operation prevented an attack whose terrorist nature leaves little doubt”.

The president told reporters at an EU summit in Malta on the day of attack that he expected the suspect to be questioned “when it is possible to do so”.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said the Egyptian man had no identity papers but mobile phone data showed he had arrived in Paris on January 26 after acquiring a one-month tourist visa in Dubai.

However, the prosecutor cautioned, the authorities have not yet formally established the suspect’s identity.

Egyptian security sources though say they have identified him, Reuters reports.

The man was believed to have been staying in Paris’ 8th district (arrondissement) which was searched in a police raid earlier on February 3.

There, he bought two machetes from a shop selling guns.

According to the prosecutor, the attacker, armed with the machetes, approached four soldiers guarding the entrance to crowded shops beneath the Louvre just before 10:00 local time.

When the soldiers challenged him, he attacked two of them while shouting in Arabic “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”). One of them shot him at least three times, hitting him in the stomach.

“The attacker fell to the ground, seriously wounded. He has been taken to hospital and is fighting for his life,” Francois Molins said.

The attacker was carrying a backpack which contained paint spray cans – but no explosives.

The guards on patrol outside the museum were just some of the thousands of troops lining the streets as part of the stepped-up response to a series of attacks in France since 2015.

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Eagles of Death Metal frontman Jesse Hughes has apologized for suggesting some Bataclan theater security guards may have known in advance about the Paris venue being attacked last November.

The EODM were mid-performance on November 13 when four Islamist militants shot and killed 90 fans.

In a Facebook post, Jesse Hughes apologized for his comments on Fox News last week about six security guards who were not at work on the night of the attack.

The singer said he made “absurd accusations”.

Speaking to Fox News on March 9, Jesse Hughes said he had learned that some guards did not come to work that night and “it seems rather obvious that they had a reason not to show up”.

The Bataclan’s owners were quick to dispute this, saying Jesse Hughes had made “grave and defamatory accusations”.

Photo Facebook

Photo Facebook

Their statement said that a judicial investigation was under way and that “we wish to let justice proceed serenely”.

“All the testimonies gathered to this day demonstrate the professionalism and courage of the security agents who were on the ground on November 13. Hundreds of people were saved thanks to (these agents’) intervention,” they added.

Jesse Hughes responded on March 11, saying: “I humbly beg forgiveness from the people of France, the staff and security of the Bataclan, my fans, my family, friends and anyone else hurt or offended by the absurd accusations I made in my Fox Business Channel interview.”

The singer said his comments were “unfounded and baseless” and that he had been struggling with dealing with the trauma of the massacre. The raid on the concert was one of seven co-ordinated attacks across Paris, killing 130 people.

“I’ve been dealing with non-stop nightmares and struggling through therapy to make sense of this tragedy and insanity,” Jesse Hughes said.

“I haven’t been myself since November 13. I realize there’s no excuse for my words, but for what it’s worth: I am sincerely sorry for having hurt, disrespected or accused anyone.”

The members of the Californian rock band escaped the carnage by hiding in a dressing room backstage and later told how they wanted to return to Paris to finish their performance.

Eagles of Death Metal returned to Paris three months later to finish the gig at another venue, the Olympia, after receiving “overwhelming” support.

The Bataclan survivors were all invited and many attended amid tight security. The show included a silence in memory of the victims.

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According to German media reports, the names of three of the Paris attackers appear in files leaked from the ISIS.

The three are believed to have carried out the worst attack, at the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 people died in November 2015.

The ISIS files, obtained by German, UK and Syrian opposition media, are said to identify thousands of jihadist recruits from at least 40 countries.

German officials said the files could be assumed to be genuine.

Roughly 22,000 fighters are reportedly identified by the documents, with one file for each recruit listing a name, address and other information. However, many of the names given may be duplicates.

Among them are Samy Amimour, Foued Mohamed-Aggad and Omar Ismail Mostefai, the three men who attacked the Bataclan during Eagles of Death Metal’s concert, killing 90 people.

The documents have been obtained by German public broadcasters WDR and NDR, and the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.ISIS leak 2016

WDR said the files indicate that the three men entered ISIS territory in 2013 and 2014.

Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere earlier said the information contained in the files could help to prosecute ISIS fighters, and help prevent future recruitment.

Files were first published online (in Arabic) by Zaman Al-Wasl, a Qatari-based Syrian news website.

Dutch media identified Abu Jihad al-Hollandi from the documents as Amsterdam teenager Achraf Bouamran, who was killed in a US air strike on the Syrian ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in January 2015. His file reads: “Born 1997. Moroccan origin. Wants to be a fighter.”

Counter-terrorism police in Germany are studying the documents.

“The German Federal Bureau of Investigation acts on the assumption that the documents are authentic,” Thomas de Maiziere said.

Sky News said the documents came from a man called Abu Hamed, an ISIS fighter who said he had become disillusioned with the group’s leadership and stolen a memory stick from the head of the ISIS internal security force before handing it over in Turkey.

At least 40 people have been killed in several shootings in Paris, as well as explosions near the Stade de France.

According to French media, at least 15 people have been killed near the Bataclan arts centre. A hostage taking is under way, with reports of up to 60 held.

At least one man opened fire at a restaurant in the 11th district, causing several several casualties.

Three explosions are also reported outside a bar near the Stade de France.Paris shootings 2015

France was hosting Germany in a friendly and the match continued. It has now ended

An eyewitness told Liberation he had heard more than 100 rounds being fired at a cafe in rue de Charonne.

There are reports of up to six gunmen involved.

Reports say French President Francois Hollande was watching the match at the Stade de France and has been moved to safety.

President Francois Hollande and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve have gone to the interior ministry.

A convoy of cars belonging to a Saudi prince has been attacked by gunmen in Paris, France.

The heavily armed men stole 250,000 euros ($330,000), police say.

The convoy was heading through northern Paris on its way to Le Bourget airport late on Sunday evening when it was raided, reports say.

The gunmen seized a vehicle carrying the money and documents, later releasing the driver and two others.

The convoy was said to have come from the Saudi embassy. No-one was hurt.

The gunmen, reportedly armed with Kalashnikov rifles, targeted a Mercedes mini-van at 21:15 local time on the northern ring road, or peripherique, at Porte de la Chapelle, on the edge of Paris.

The motorcade, belonging to a Saudi prince, was ambushed by eight people in two separate vehicles who pointed their guns at the driver of the Mercedes, forcing him to stop, French media reported.

The Saudi prince’s convoy was heading through northern Paris on its way to Le Bourget airport late on Sunday evening when it was raided

The Saudi prince’s convoy was heading through northern Paris on its way to Le Bourget airport late on Sunday evening when it was raided

The men then drove the vehicle away with the driver and the two other Saudis inside. No shots were fired and the Saudis were later freed.

“In the vehicle there was roughly 250,000 euros in cash and official documents from the embassy,” police union spokesman Rocco Contento told BFM TV news.

According to Rocco Contento, the operation lasted just a few seconds, something that pointed to “a very organized and especially informed commando unit, who had information and accomplices”.

“As far as I am concerned, it looks very much like it could be commandos from eastern Europe, who we know about, who are often paid to do dirty work.”

The Mercedes was heading to Le Bourget airport with paperwork for the departing prince, who has not been named, according to the prosecutor’s office. Le Bourget is often used for high-level visitors taking private jets to Paris.

The vehicle was eventually found abandoned and another of the gang’s cars was found burned out.

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