Paris has been rocked by another potential terrorist attack today.
A French soldier reportedly opened fire Friday inside a shopping mall beneath the Louvre Museum in Paris after he was attacked by an unidentified man wielding a machete and shouting “Allahu akbar.”
Authorities report the man was in possession of two backpacks, neither contained explosives.
“We are dealing with an attack from an individual who was clearly aggressive and represented a direct threat, and whosecomments lead us to believe that he wished to carry out a terrorist incident,” Michel Cadot, the head of the police force, said.
Olivier Majewski was just leaving his scooter in the parking lot beneath the Louvre when he saw a crush of people, 30 or 40, running and screaming “there’s been a terror attack.” The 53-year-old said he hid for about 15 minutes before gingerly making his way upstairs. He said people were clearly scared.
Officials say the four-man patrol came under attack after the assailant was told he could not enter a shopping complex in the museum with his two backpacks. That’s when the man pulled one of two machetes he was carrying and attacked. The soldiers tried to fight the man in hand-to-hand combat before eventually opening fire.
Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that a second person also was arrested but it is unclear whether they were linked to the attack.
The approximately 1000 people were inside the Lourve at the time of the attack were held in safe areas and while a spokesperson for the museum says it is “closed for the moment”, they did not indicate whether or not the building had been evacuated yet at this hour.
Soldiers on patrol are part of security measures that have beefed-up in the wake of terror attacks in France in 2015 and 2016.
The attacker has been reported in grave condition.