French railroad security officers have detained a knife-wielding man after he allegedly charged at them in a dispute over wearing a face mask while shouting “Allahu Akbar!” and “France is ruled by the Islamic State!,” reports say.
The incident surrounding the suspect – identified by the Le Parisien newspaper as a 47-year-old French national who is familiar to police for acts of violence – unfolded Monday night in Paris’ busy Saint-Lazare station.
The suspect, according to BFMTV, became agitated with four security guards after being flagged for not wearing a face mask per COVID-19 guidelines.
A Transilien regional train, operated by French national railway operator SNCF, stands at a platform at the Saint-Lazare railway station in Paris, France, in November 2019. (REUTERS/Benoit Tessier)
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He then allegedly brandished a knife and lunged at the guards while shouting the slogans, the station adds.
Two of the guards responded by firing at the suspect, striking him three times in the hand and lungs and forcing him to fall onto the tracks, Le Parisien reports.
Rail security guards from the SNCF (French state-owned railway company) stand outside the Saint-Lazare railway station in Paris, on the first day mask usage is mandatory in public transport, after France begun a gradual end to a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus disease in May 2020. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau)
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The suspect then climbed back onto the platform and rushed at the guards a second time – only to be repelled by batons and tear gas and once again fall onto the tracks, according to the newspaper.
Commuters wait for a train to leave the Saint-Lazare train station in Paris during the fourth day of a nationwide strike by French SNCF railway workers in France in April 2018. (REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)
First responders rushed the suspect to a local hospital while prosecutors, Reuters reports, are now investigating the incident as attempted murder and promoting terrorism.