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Knife-wielding attacker seriously injures policewoman near Nantes, France. Suspect reportedly dead

Knife-wielding attacker seriously injures policewoman near Nantes, France. Suspect reportedly dead
A policewoman has been stabbed several times in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, France, leaving her with serious injuries. Local media are reporting that the suspect has died following a shootout with police.

The National Gendarmerie force has confirmed in a tweet that one of their officers was attacked on Friday morning. Police sources told BFMTV the attack occurred around 10am (8am GMT) in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, in Loire-Atlantique. The assailant, identified only as a man, had entered the town’s police station before attacking a female officer, stabbing her several times.

She was injured in the lower limbs, according to reports, and is in a critical state. She has been taken to hospital. 

According to BFMTV, after a short-lived manhunt, police attempted to arrest the suspect following a shootout. A judicial source said the man had been pronounced dead.

Officers said the assailant had stolen the policewoman’s weapon and crashed his car while escaping, forcing him to continue on foot.

More than 200 gendarmes and three dog units were deployed along with two police helicopters. On Twitter, the National Gendarmerie called on residents to “avoid the area” and to “strictly follow the instructions of the police.”

The attacker’s motives are currently unknown, but a source close to the investigation claims that prison staff said the man had been radicalized in jail and has psychological disorders.

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The stabbing comes one week after French police officers held a demonstration outside the National Assembly and called on President Emmanuel Macron’s government to protect them against violence and to introduce tougher punishment for those who attack law-enforcement officers.

Unions have complained that the government is failing to protect officers from violence against the police and the state. In the preceding month, one policeman had been killed during a drug raid while a police force employee was stabbed to death outside her station.

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