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Knife-wielding staffer kills colleagues at Paris police headquarters

Eric Feferberg, AFP | View of the front of the police prefecture in a picture taken on October 5, 2010.

A man wielding a knife killed at least four people and wounded several others at the Paris police headquarters on Thursday, a police source told FRANCE 24. The attacker was shot and killed.

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The attack took place on Thursday afternoon at the Paris police headquarters on Île de la Cité, located across the street from the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

The attacker was a staffer at the police headquarters, according to a police union spokesman.

While the motive for the attack remains unknown, the police union spokesman said the assailant had suffered “a moment of madness”.

Police are also investigating whether the assailant had an accomplice, according to a police source.

The area around Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris has been cordoned off, according to FRANCE 24’s Clovis Casali reporting from near the police headquarters. “There are dozens of police forces deployed all around the area and all the bridges leading to Île de la Cité have also been cordoned off,” said Casali.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner headed to the scene of the crime shortly after the attack and was inside the police headquarters, police sources said.

The attack came a day after thousands of officers marched in Paris to protest against low wages, long hours and increasing suicides in their ranks.

Extremists have repeatedly targeted French police in France in recent years. In 2017, a gunman opened fire on the Champs-Élysées boulevard, killing one officer before he was shot to death.

In 2016, an attack inspired by the Islamic State group killed a police officer and his companion, an administrator, at their home in front of their child.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

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