3 Things You Should Know About The Attack Outside The Notre-Dame Cathedral
On Tuesday afternoon, 6 June, a man armed with a hammer and kitchen knives attacked a police officer from behind on the square outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris
1. The attacker shouted "this is for Syria"
The attacker, who was "neutralised" after being shot by another police officer, was carrying an identity card describing him as an Algerian student, Gérard Collomb, the French interior minister, told reporters at the scene, reported the New York Times.
According to the French interior minister, the attacker appeared to be acting alone.
Speaking about the attack, in which the assailant used a hammer, Gérard Collomb was quoted by the NYT saying that, "One sees that we have gone from a very sophisticated terrorism to a terrorism where, in the end, any tool can be used to carry out attacks."
2. The Gothic cathedral was put into lockdown by police with more than 900 tourists and worshippers inside
A spokeswoman for the Paris archdiocese, Karine Dalle, issued a statement saying that the roughly 900 people inside the cathedral were notified about the attack. There were no signs of panic and they were "sitting calmly" until they were allowed to leave.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo took to Twitter to praise the people locked inside the cathedral who reacted to the lockdown with "the greatest calm."
"I applaud the courage, the quick thinking, and the professionalism of the police force, which helped prevent a tragedy. This incident underscores the threat that weighs on the cities of the world but also demonstrates the effectiveness of the police system in Paris," she added, according to a translation provided by BuzzFeed News.
3. The attack is being investigated by anti-terror authorities
Following the attack, the Paris prosecutor's office has swiftly launched a counter-terrorism investigation, the first since President Emmanuel Macron was elected to power last month and days before the first round of a parliamentary election in France.
France, the world's most-visited country, has been under a state of emergency ever since 2015 terror attacks in Paris. In the past two-and-a-half year, more than 230 people have died in attacks across France, most of them claimed by ISIS.
In fact, Tuesday's Notre-Dame attack is the latest in a series of attacks on French police and soldiers. In April, one officer was shot dead by a gunman on the Champs Élysées.
Days before the first round of France's presidential elections in April, a man attacked a police van on the Champs-Élysées. He killed one officer and wounded two others. The attacker was killed after being shot by other officers.
In March, a gunman was killed at Orly Airport, south of Paris, after attacking a soldier.
And in February, a 29-year-old Egyptian man caused panic outside Paris's Louvre museum when he ran at soldiers with a machete, shouting "Allahu akbar". He was shot and wounded by a French soldier.