A French soldier has shot a man after he tried to enter the Louvre museum in Paris carrying a machete and two backpacks. Paris police chief Michel Cadot said the attacker shouted “Allahu akbar (God is greatest)” as he “launched” himself at the soldier in the Carrousel du Louvre area of the popular attraction. The soldier - part of a four-man patrol - fired five times, hitting the man in the legs and stomach and seriously injuring him. The assailant became violent when he was told he could not enter with his bags. Two machetes were found at the scene. Mr Cadot said: “We are dealing with an attack from an individual who was clearly aggressive and represented a direct threat, and whose comments lead us to believe that he wished to carry out a terrorist incident.” Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said: “It appears to be an attempted attack of a terrorist nature.”
We are dealing with an attack from an individual who was clearly aggressive and represented a direct threat, and whose comments lead us to believe that he wished to carry out a terrorist incident.
Paris police chief Michel Cadot
Witnesses reported seeing a crowd of people running away from the scene and screaming. As many as 250 people have been locked inside the museum and will be allowed out in groups when their identities have been checked. One Twitter user, called Maya, wrote: “We’ve all been locked inside … there are hundreds of vans outside.” A second person has been detained after they were spotted behaving suspiciously near the scene, the police chief said. They are not thought to be linked to the Louvre incident, which happened at around 10am local time. France’s interior ministry said a large area around the Louvre, including the gardens, has been sealed off. The soldier who opened fire was part of Operation Sentinelle, the massive deployment of French military on the streets after the terror attacks in France in 2015 and 2016. Another soldier is understood to have suffered a slight head injury in the attack.