News World Attacker killed in Paris on Charlie Hebdo anniversary
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Attacker killed in Paris on Charlie Hebdo anniversary

Emergency services are investigating.
ABC
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Paris police have shot dead a meat cleaver-wielding man who tried to enter a police station shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) and wearing what turned out to be a fake suicide belt, officials say.

A Paris prosecutor said the man was also carrying a mobile phone and a sheet of paper with an Islamic State flag and a claim of responsibility.

The man was later identified as a homeless man known as Sallah Ali, born in the Moroccan city of Casablanca in 1995.

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He was previously convicted of theft in 2013, a source close to the investigation said.

In his statement, Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said a terrorism inquiry had been opened into the incident, which occurred in the 18th district of the capital, an area IS said it had planned to strike in November.

“[The man] shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and had wires protruding from his clothes. That’s why the police officer opened fire,” said a police official.

Journalist Anna Polony posted photos on social media that appeared to show a body next to a bomb-disposal robot.

Ms Polony said that her sister, who was in her flat with her, saw the incident happen, adding that man started running towards police before he was shot.

The incident came exactly one year after deadly Islamist militant attacks on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in the French capital, and just minutes after President Francois Hollande gave a speech in an another part of Paris to mark the anniversary.

France has been on high alert ever since the shootings last January at the Charlie Hebdo office and at a Jewish supermarket in which 17 people died over three days.

In November, jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State group killed 130 people in synchronised attacks in Paris.

Several of the militants involved in those attacks were, like last January’s killers, French-born.

Heightened security necessary, Hollande says

Mr Hollande defended draconian security measures in Paris. Photo: AFP
Mr Hollande defended draconian security measures in Paris. Photo: AFP

Just minutes before the incident, President Hollande gave his speech marking the anniversary of the killings at Charlie Hebdo on January 7, 2015, and called for greater cooperation between the security services.

In a sombre speech at Paris police headquarters, Mr Hollande hinted at intelligence failings that might have allowed attacks to take place, as he called for all branches of the security services to cooperate more closely.

“Faced with these adversaries, it is essential that every service — police, gendarmerie, intelligence, military — work in perfect harmony, with the greatest transparency, and that they share all the information at their disposal,” he said.

Mr Hollande also defended draconian security measures implemented since November that his Socialist government had once shunned.

“Terrorism has not stopped posing a threat to our country,” he said, repeating a promise to boost police recruitment and resources.

Since the November attacks, Paris has increased its efforts at striking jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, becoming the second largest contributor to the US-led coalition against Islamic State.

Security measures at home have included a three-month state of emergency, during which the police have launched hundreds of raids on homes, mosques, restaurants and hotels.

– with Agencies

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