French authorities sat a 20-year-old French citizen born in Chechnya, Khamzat Azimov, stabbed several people in a random attack on a Paris street in the Opera district Saturday.
The Islamic State’s news agency Amaq released a video that purports to show Azimov pledged allegiance to the terrorist group, it was reported Sunday.
Saturday French police reported an “… assault of 5 people in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris by an individual armed with a knife: One victim has died, two are seriously wounded and two are injured slightly. The assailant passed away.”
CBS News reported Sunday that French authorities said the suspect was “born in Chechnya and had been on police radar for radicalism, and his parents have been detained for questioning.” Azimov had been on a database of individuals believed to be linked to, or influenced by, extremism but the man did not have a criminal history, it was reported.
A witness said, “Everyone saw the assailant with a knife full of blood.”
ACTU17 France, which reports on police, security and terrorism, reported quoted a tweet where it’s said the “EI group claims the knife attack in Paris and refers to ‘an IS soldier’ to describe the assailant.”
Claims #France#EI The attack on #Opéra #Paris // #IS claims #Opera #Paris attack
Initially reported by ACTU17 news, “One of the victims is dead. Another victim is in a state of absolute emergency, while two others are in a state of relative emergency,” ACTU17 reported. The suspect was shot by the police, France24 reported.
The stabbing occurred on Palais Garnier and Opera not far from a busy metro station. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted her thanks for repsonders and sorrow for her city: “Tonight, our city has been bruised. My first thoughts go to the family of the victim who lost his life. I also think of the wounded and their loved ones. I want to tell them that all Parisians are by their side.”
A reporter initially Tweeted pictures, video and a witness account which has since been removed, but her initial tweet said, “One guy went down right in front of our hotel. Watched people running (not sure if from or after somebody). Heard shots shortly after.”
Another French journalist tweeted “A man shouting “Allah Akbar” attacked passersby with a knife tonight street @Europe1, Opera district. Late Saturday, French officials said an anti-terrorism prosecutor is involved in the case.
At least two serious casualties. He was shot dead by the police.”
It was reported that police first tried to subdue the suspect, who has not yet been identified, with a taser, but it was ineffective in stopping the man. He allegedly yelled, “”Kill me or I kill you, ACTU17 said and then “threw himself on” police and then was shot and killed.
France 24 journalist Charles Pellegrin, very near the scene, spoke to eye witnesses.
“I came out of a comedy show near Opera in central Paris and was immediately told to go back in because there was a madman with a knife. Once back inside we heard sirens and 2 gun shots. I then spoke to eyewitnesses who told me a man stabbed multiple people at random.
“The eyewitnesses then told me police tried to tazer (sic) the attacker. This did not work, so they fired two shots. Police have now set up a perimeter and say the situation is under control. Ambulances are rushing to the scene.”