Four Killed in a Knife Attack at Paris Police HQ

Three policemen and one female police administrative employee were killed by a man armed with a kitchen knife on Thursday inside police headquarters in Paris. The assailant, named in the media as Mickaël H, a 45-year-old man, and longtime police employee, was shot dead by police.

The motive of the state employee still not clear. However, police union officials have suggested the attacker may have been involved in a workplace dispute. Police continued to search his home and to assess data from his computers and phones.

The attack came a day after police went on strike across France over increasing violence towards officers. The Paris prosecutor said a murder investigation had been launched.

At about 13:00 local time, the attacker is said to have gone into the building and straight to his office where he began attacking colleagues with a knife. Including four another person critically injured and being treated in hospital.

The building is near major tourist sites including the Notre-Dame cathedral.Witnesses described scenes of panic, with many people fleeing the building in tears. The area in the île de la Cité was sealed off.

Police sources said the assailant, who was partially deaf and reportedly converted to Islam 18 months ago, was “in conflict” with his superiors. Police last night said they had not determined any terror links.

Interior minister Christophe Castaner said the assailant had had “never shown any behavioural problems”. The police were “struck to the heart” by the exceptionally grave incident, he added.

President Emmanuel Macron and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo attended the scene.

“Paris weeps for its own this afternoon after this terrifying attack in the police headquarters. The toll is heavy, several officers lost their lives,” Mayor Hidalgo tweeted.

>Juthy Saha

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