Knifeman in fake explosives vest shot dead by Paris police

Police officers secure the area after a fatal shooting which took place at a police station in Paris. Picture: AP
Police officers secure the area after a fatal shooting which took place at a police station in Paris. Picture: AP
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A MAN carrying a butcher’s knife and wearing a fake explosives vest was shot by police at a Paris police station yesterday, almost a year to the minute of the Charlie Hebdo attacks last year.

He was named in reports as a 20-year-old Moroccan called Sallah Ali, a convicted thief who had been living rough.

France has been in a state of emergency since a series of attacks claimed by the IS terrorist group killed 130 people in Paris on 13 November.

Officials said the man was shot dead after threatening officers at the entrance of a station near Montmartre.

Just moments before, the French president, François Hollande, speaking at a commemoration in a different location, paid respects to two officers killed during the January 2015 Paris outrage, in which 16 people were killed, 11 of them in the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

He also said 5,000 extra police and gendarmes would be added to existing forces by 2017 in an “unprecedented” strengthening of security.

The police station attacker is believed to have cried out “Allahu akbar [God is Great]” before being shot.

Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said police do not believe anyone else was involved.

Alexis Mukenge, who witnessed the shooting, said police told the man, “Stop. Move back”, before two shots were fired and the man fell to the ground.

“Terrorism still weighs heavily on our country,” Mr Hollande said. “Faced with these adversaries, it is essential that every service – police, gendarmerie, intelligence, military – work in perfect harmony.”