Machete attacker shot at Louvre in Paris
REUTERS photoA French soldier patrolling at the Louvre museum in Paris shot and seriously injured a machete-wielding man on Feb. 3 as he attacked security forces, police said.
Hundreds of tourists were confined to secure areas of the world-famous art gallery in central Paris after the attacker was shot five times around 10:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. GMT) in a public area inside the complex.
French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called the attack “terrorist in nature.”
One soldier was “lightly injured” and has been taken to hospital, while the knifeman is in a serious condition but is still alive, security forces said, AFP reported.
Two backpacks carried by the assailant were checked by bomb disposal specialists at the scene and were found not to contain explosives.
The incident sparked fresh jitters in a country still reeling from a string of terror attacks over the last two years and under a state of emergency since November 2015.
Thousands of troops have been deployed to guard the capital, with groups of soldiers with automatic rifles a regular sight inside the Louvre and around its sculpture-filled gardens.
“It’s so sad and shocking... we can’t let them win, it’s horrible,” British tourist Gillian Simms, who was visiting Paris with her daughters, told AFP.
The huge former royal palace in the heart of the city is home to the Mona Lisa and other renowned works of art but also a shopping area and numerous exhibition spaces.
The attacker was shot in a shopping area that leads to the museum.
“The people who were in the museum -- there were about 250 of them -- were held at a distance and confined in secure areas of the Louvre,” city police chief Michel Cadot told reporters outside.
A second man whose behavior was “suspicious” has been arrested, Cadot said, without giving further details.