An attacker fatally stabbed a female police administrative worker in broad daylight on Friday at the entrance to a police station in a middle-class commuter town outside Paris.
France’s anti-terror prosecutor said he was taking the lead in the investigation and Prime Minister Jean Castex said it was a terrorist attack.
“France has lost one of its everyday heroines in a barbaric gesture of infinite cowardice,” Castex said at the scene of the attack in Rambouillet.
The woman was knifed in the throat, two security sources said. The assailant was shot dead by police officers, one of the two security sources said.
The attacker was of Tunisian nationality and residing in France on legitimate papers.
He was not previously known to France’s security agencies, a third security source added.
France has suffered a wave of attacks by Islamist militants or Islamist-inspired individuals in recent years that have killed about 250 people.
Friday’s attack was came six months after an Islamist teenager beheaded a school teacher in Conflans, another Paris satellite town.
Tackling religious extremism, domestic security and notions of French identity are likely to be important issues in next year’s presidential election.
Copyright 2021 Thomson/Reuters