February 3, 2020 / 5:40 PM / 19 days ago

French police shoot barracks intruder following attack warning

PARIS (Reuters) - Police shot and wounded a man armed with a knife after he attacked officers inside a police barracks in eastern France on Monday.

Shortly before the knifeman struck the police facility in Dieuze, near Metz, the local police operations centre received warning that an atrocity was to be committed in the name of Islamic State, French news agency AFP quoted the local prosecutor as saying.

“We must relate the facts to a call received by the operational center of the gendarmerie shortly before, in which an individual declared that he was a soldier, that there was going to be carnage in Dieuze and that he was a member of Islamic State,” prosecutor Christian Mercuri was quoted as telling a news conference in the area.

Several hours after the attack, there had been no claims of responsibility. A judicial source said the national antiterrorist prosecutor was not investigating the case at this stage.

The knifeman wounded one officer in the hand before he was shot and later taken to hospital, a spokesman for the gendarmerie said.

Interior Minister Christophe Castaner praised the cool response of the officers who accosted the attacker.

The incident in Dieuze will raise further questions over security at police facilities.

In October, an information technology assistant at the police headquarters in central Paris went on a knife rampage inside the building, killing four people before he was shot dead. He had converted to Islam a decade earlier.

In Britain on Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would act to stop the early release of convicted terrorists from jail after an Islamist militant stabbed two people in a street attack in south London.

Paris has suffered major attacks by Islamist militants in recent years.

Coordinated bombings and shootings in November 2015 at the Bataclan theatre and other sites around Paris killed 130 people - the deadliest attacks in France since World War Two.

Reporting by Tangi Salaun; Writing by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Richard Lough, Lisa Shumaker and Jonathan Oatis

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