Paris Notre Dame attacker shouted 'this is for Syria' before being shot

France created a new counter-terrorism task force on Wednesday, bringing together all the intelligence services, to coordinate the response to attacks, a day after an Algerian student assaulted police officers outside Notre Dame cathedral.

French police stand at the scene of a shooting incident near the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, June 6, 2017. In the intervening months, there have been scattered incidents, most involving attacks on police and other security personnel.

French officials have not confirmed initial reports, but were quoted unoffically as saying the attacker might have hoped to strike down the gendarme and seize his weapon.

20 April 2017 - A convicted criminal who was investigated for threatening to kill police opens fire at police on the Champs Elysees in Paris, killing one and wounding two.

"A person came up behind the police officers, armed with a hammer, and started to hit the police officer", he said.

Hundreds of people were in the cathedral at the time and peope in the area ran for cover. He is then seen tumbling to the ground after he's shot by another officer. Two auxiliary bishops were also present, Dalle said, and reassured the crowd.

"It was really scary, we had no idea if there were any accomplices inside", she said. "His colleagues reacted with composure.and fired", Collomb told reporters near the cathedral in central Paris, following the incident on Tuesday.

American tourist Lawrence Langner, 73, told AP that he suddenly heard a commotion and two detonations like gunshots.

Others posted photos online of what appeared to be the interior of medieval Notre Dame, one of France's most-visited monuments.

Information for this article was contributed by Angela Charlton, John Leicester, Sylvie Corbet and Sylvia Hui of The Associated Press. The man was shot in the leg and "neutralized" by police.

The man was taken to the hospital and the situation was quickly contained, but as it happened, many feared a larger terrorist attack was taking place, only days after the attack in London. He said Ikken's friends and family can not believe that he is suspected in the attack, saying: "it's not the person we knew".

Over an hour later, after authorities said police were attacked outside, visitors were told they would be evacuated in an orderly fashion.

French police shot and injured a man who attacked an officer with a hammer outside Paris's Notre Dame cathedral on Tuesday, as he shouted "this is for Syria".

He added that the evidence so far suggests the attacker acted alone.

  • Jon Douglas