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louvre attack


A 29-year-old Egyptian man is believed to be the attacker at the Louvre museum on February 3, French authorities said.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said the man is thought to have traveled to Paris from Dubai on a tourist visa last month.

Police are trying to establish if the man acted alone or under instructions, he added.

Prosecutor Francois Molins stated the attacker, who was shot by the soldiers, sustained life-threatening injuries, though he is at a hospital. Molins added the man had no identifying documentation, but investigators used his cellphone to determine his resident in the UAE.

One of the soldiers received minor injuries when the man tried to enter the museum.

Louvre has topped the list of the most visited art museums of 2012

Louvre has topped the list of the most visited art museums of 2012

At the time of the incident, hundreds of visitors were inside the Louvre, which is home to numerous celebrated art works, including the Mona Lisa.

France’s President Francois Hollande praised the soldiers’ actions, saying “this operation prevented an attack whose terrorist nature leaves little doubt”.

The president told reporters at an EU summit in Malta on the day of attack that he expected the suspect to be questioned “when it is possible to do so”.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said the Egyptian man had no identity papers but mobile phone data showed he had arrived in Paris on January 26 after acquiring a one-month tourist visa in Dubai.

However, the prosecutor cautioned, the authorities have not yet formally established the suspect’s identity.

Egyptian security sources though say they have identified him, Reuters reports.

The man was believed to have been staying in Paris’ 8th district (arrondissement) which was searched in a police raid earlier on February 3.

There, he bought two machetes from a shop selling guns.

According to the prosecutor, the attacker, armed with the machetes, approached four soldiers guarding the entrance to crowded shops beneath the Louvre just before 10:00 local time.

When the soldiers challenged him, he attacked two of them while shouting in Arabic “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”). One of them shot him at least three times, hitting him in the stomach.

“The attacker fell to the ground, seriously wounded. He has been taken to hospital and is fighting for his life,” Francois Molins said.

The attacker was carrying a backpack which contained paint spray cans – but no explosives.

The guards on patrol outside the museum were just some of the thousands of troops lining the streets as part of the stepped-up response to a series of attacks in France since 2015.

A man has been shot by a soldier guarding the Louvre in Paris after trying to attack a security patrol with a machete shouting “Allahu Akbar”, police say.

The suspected attacker, who tried to gain entry to the Louvre’s shopping center, was shot in the abdomen and seriously injured.

One soldier sustained a slight head injury.

French PM Bernard Cazeneuve said the attack was “terrorist in nature”. The Louvre is home to numerous celebrated art works, including the Mona Lisa.

The incident began at 10:00 local time in the Carrousel du Louvre shopping center at stairs leading to an entrance to the museum itself.

A patrol of four soldiers are reported to have tried to subdue the assailant using non-lethal force after he rushed at them.

Louvre has topped the list of the most visited art museums of 2012

Louvre has topped the list of the most visited art museums of 2012

When this failed and after one soldier was injured, five shots were fired. The suspected attacker was taken to hospital.

Two backpacks belonging to the suspect, who shouted “God is greatest” in Arabic, have been inspected but no explosives were found. A second person has been arrested.

Little is known about the main suspect, who is reported to be in his 30s and without identity papers.

Hundreds of visitors in the Louvre at the time were evacuated gradually after security checks.

As the attack unfolded, they were told by security staff to crouch on the floor.

France has been on a high state of alert since the Paris attacks of 2015. Thousands of troops on the streets form part of the stepped-up security response.

The Louvre was ranked as the world’s most visited museum in 2015 but there are doubts whether it still holds the top spot.