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21 Dec, 2014 01:52

Knife-wielding man stabs three officers inside French police station

Knife-wielding man stabs three officers inside French police station

A knife-wielding man has stormed a police station in France shouting "Allahu Akbar”. He managed to stab three officers before being shot and killed.

A man armed with a knife showed up at the police station at Joue-les-Toursnear in the city of Tours on Saturday. According to the local media he first wounded a policeman at the reception in the face before attacking the two others officers while screaming “God is great” in Arabic.

The attacker was killed by “police officers present using their issued firearms," according to the country's Interior Ministry. He was a French citizen in his 20s, police confirmed.

Policiers agressés à Joué-lès-Tours : la piste terroriste n'est pas écartée http://t.co/XtLDtasUVWpic.twitter.com/czNRVcnUKs

— France Info (@franceinfo) December 20, 2014

The wounded policemen are said to be in a stable condition. Prime Minister Manuel Valls described the officers as being "seriously injured and in a state of shock", he pledged his support for the families of the victims and the ongoing investigation.

A police car is parked outside the police station of Joue les-Tours on December 20, 2014 where French police shot dead a man who attacked them with a knife in a police station while shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic). (AFP Photo)

The counter-terrorism unit of the Public Prosecutor's office opened an investigation for "attempted murder and criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist organisation", the Paris Prosecutor's office said.

The attacker is believed to have been born in Burundi in 1994 and had a criminal record according to AFP report. The source added the assailant’s brother was known to authorities for his extremist beliefs and had planned to travel to Syria. Yet, France's General Directorate for Internal Security said that the attacker was not on the government’s watch list.

Les membres de l'association LOIC apportent leur soutien aux policiers agressés ce jour à #Joue Les Tours pic.twitter.com/bXp5Mupfk5

— Association Loïc (@assoLoic) December 20, 2014

"The investigation is leading towards an attack on police forces on radical Islamist motives," another source close the case told AFP.

The French authorities estimate that around 1,200 legal residents are involved in jihadist networks in Iraq and Syria. The attack on police station comes after police carried out raids against suspected jihadists who were preparing to join Islamic State fighters in Syria, earlier this month.