A known radical Islamist with mental health troubles stabbed a German tourist to death and injured two others in central Paris on Saturday.
The attack occurred near the Eiffel Tower during a busy weekend night. France is on its highest alert as tensions rise in the backdrop of Israel's war on Gaza.
The assailant, previously flagged as a radical Islamist and undergoing treatment for mental illness, shouted "Allahu Akbar" before being arrested.
"We will not give in to terrorism," Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne wrote on X, formerly Twitter, after the attack. President Emmanuel Macron sent his condolences to the family of a German killed in the “terrorist attack”.
French anti-terror prosecutors have taken over the investigation. The attacker was known to authorities as a radical Islamist and was being treated for mental illness, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said at the scene by the River Seine. He further revealed that the attacker, born in 1997, had a prior conviction in 2016 for planning another attack that he failed to carry out.
The assailant fatally stabbed the German tourist when a taxi driver who witnessed the scene intervened, Darmanin said. He then crossed the Seine and used a hammer to attack others while attempting to escape. Police intervened, and the attacker was subdued with a taser and arrested.
The Paris prosecutor's office said the attacker was French and had been arrested in a case of murder and attempted murder. "A man attacked a couple who were foreign tourists. A German tourist who was born in the Philippines died from the stabbing," the minister said.
The area by Bir Hakeim bridge, usually thronging with tourists and locals, was cordoned off by police and bright with the flashing lights of security forces and emergency services.
The attacker, who lived with his parents in the Esonnne region south of Paris, told police he could not stand Muslims being killed in "Afghanistan and Palestine", the minister claimed.
President Emmanuel Macron expressed condolences, praised the quick response of security forces and called for justice "in the name of the French people".
The incident adds to heightened tensions in France amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The country has experienced previous attacks by Islamist extremists, and concerns over the persisting threat remain.