French police officer stabbed in suspected terror attack in Cannes

A French police officer was attacked early on Monday morning after a man claiming to act "in the name of the prophet" stabbed him in the southern city of Cannes.

French police officer stabbed in suspected terror attack in Cannes
Illustration photo: Bertrand Guay/AFP

The incident is being treating the incident as a possible terrorist attack.

The policeman was behind the wheel of a car in front of a police station at 6.30 am he was attacked.

Interior minister Gérald Darmanin later clarified that the officer had not been physically injured, thanks to his bulletproof vest.

French media reported that four police officers, including a young officer and a trainee, were about to go on patrol and were in their car, parked in an alleyway at the back of the Cannes central police station.

The assailant is reported to have approached and used the excuse of a request for information to have the rear window opened. The man struck one officer with a knife in the chest – hitting his bullet-proof vest.

Laurent Martin de Frémont, spokesman for the Unité SGP Police-FO union, told Le Parisien: “The officer’s clothes and bulletproof vest were in a catastrophic state. It shows you the strength, the will, the power of the gesture. The clothes were torn, the bullet-proof vest was attacked right down to the plate that protects us.

“In other words, we are dealing with someone who wanted to kill a cop.”

The incident is being treated as a possible terrorist attack, and Darmanin announced he was heading to the scene.

The attacker was severely injured by another police officer who opened fire, and was in a serious condition.

French police have been targeted in a series of attacks from Islamic extremists in recent years, leading to calls for better protection and harsher jail sentences.

In April, a police employee was stabbed to death in the secure entrance to a station in the quiet Paris commuter town of Rambouillet, while an officer was seriously wounded in a knife attack near the western city of Nantes in May.

In October 2019, three officers and one police employee in Paris were stabbed to death in the headquarters of the Paris police by a radicalised IT employee.

Each attack has sharpened attention on the danger of Islamic extremism in France, which has suffered a wave of violence over the last decade from radicals inspired by al-Qaeda or the Islamic State group.

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French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.