One dead, two injured in Paris 'terrorist attack' near the Eiffel Tower
French President Emmanuel Macron has described incident as "a terrorist attack".
PARIS: One German tourist died and two others were injured after a man attacked tourists in central Paris near the Eiffel Tower on Saturday (Dec 2) evening in what President Emmanuel Macron described as "a terrorist attack".
Police quickly arrested the 26-year-old man, a French national, using a Taser stun gun, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told reporters on Saturday.
The suspect had been sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 for planning another attack, was on the French security services' watch list and was also known for having psychiatric disorders, the interior minister added.
The attack took place around 1900 GMT (3am, Sunday, Singapore time) when the man attacked a tourist couple with a knife on the Quai de Grenelle, a few metres away from the Eiffel Tower, mortally wounding a German national.
He was then chased by police and attacked two other people with a hammer before being arrested.
"I send all my condolences to the family and loved ones of the German national who died this evening during the terrorist attack in Paris and think with emotion of the people currently injured and in care," President Macron said on social network platform X.
Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne expressed defiance in the face of such attacks.
"We will not give in to terrorism," she wrote on X.
Prosecutors specialising in terrorist incidents told AFP they had opened a probe into the attacker, named as Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, a French national born in 1997 to Iranian parents.
They suspect him of murder against the 23-year-old dead man, identified as a German-Filipino citizen by a judicial source.
He will further be probed for attempted murder against the two wounded people, a 66-year-old British citizen and a 60-year-old French national, "in connection with a terrorist plot".
Police and security sources confirmed that the attacker had posted a video on social media, claiming responsibility for the attack and speaking about "current events, the government, the murder of innocent Muslims".
Investigators will look closely at his medical history, a security source told AFP, calling the attacker "very unstable and easily influenced".
"Was he medically monitored as he should have been, as indeed he had been for some time?" a police source said.
A taxi driver who witnessed the scene intervened, Darmanin added, saving the wife of the slain tourist. The attacker then crossed the bridge, lashing out at others and injuring one with a hammer.
Joseph S, a supermarket manager who asked not to give his last name, witnessed the scene as he sat in a bar.
The 37-year-old heard screams and people shouting "help, help" as they ran. A man wielding a hammer attacked a man who had fallen down, and within five to 10 minutes the police arrived, he told AFP.
The attack in central Paris occurred less than eight months before the French capital hosts the Olympic Games and could raise questions about security at the global sporting event.
The city is planning an unprecedented opening ceremony on the Seine River, with the potential to attract as many as 600,000 spectators.