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German tourist stabbed to death near Eiffel Tower

By JULIAN SHEA in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-12-04 10:20
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Police officers work at the scene of the knife attack near Bir Hakeim bridge in Paris on Sunday. PAOLONI JEREMY/NEWSCOM

French President Emmanuel Macron says anti-terror authorities are investigating an attack near the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Saturday night that left a 23-year-old German-Fillipino tourist dead and two others, a 60-year-old French national and a 66-year-old Briton, injured.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the attacker, who used a hammer and a knife in the attack, was tasered and arrested, having shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) and told police that he was upset because "so many Muslims are dying in Afghanistan and in Palestine".

A taxi driver and the police were praised by Darmanin for their swift intervening action, without which he said "there would doubtless have been others dead".

Darmanin confirmed that the suspect, who he did not name, was French, and had been undergoing psychiatric treatment and police surveillance, having been released from prison in 2020 after serving a four-year sentence for planning an attack on the city's business district, La Defense, which he never carried out.

Prosecutors later named him as Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, a French national born in 1997 to Iranian parents.

The Agence-France Presse, or AFP, news agency reported that earlier in the day, a video had been posted on social media which featured the suspect criticizing the French government and talking about what he called the murder of innocent Muslims. It also quoted a security source who described him as "very unstable and easily influenced", and said his medical history would be looked at.

When arrested, he also reportedly told police that France was being "an accomplice to what Israel is doing" in the conflict in Gaza.

"The national anti-terrorist prosecutor's office will now be responsible for shedding light on this affair so that justice can be done in the name of the French people," French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on social media platform X after the incident.

"We will cede nothing in the face of terrorism," added France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.

In the summer France witnessed widespread scenes of unrest, initially in Paris but which spread nationwide, following the shooting dead of a teenager of North African descent by police after a traffic stop.

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