On Saturday evening, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin reported an incident in central Paris where a German tourist lost their life, and another individual sustained injuries.
“The police have just courageously arrested an assailant attacking passers-by in Paris, around the Quai de Grenelle,” Darmanin wrote. “One deceased person and one injured person treated by the Paris Fire Brigade. Please avoid the area.”
French President Emmanuel Macron extended his condolences to the family of a German killed in what he called a “terror attack.”
“My condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the German citizen who died this evening in the terrorist attack in Paris, and my thoughts are with the people who are currently injured and being cared for,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
Darmanin spoke to reporters at the scene later Saturday night.
He said that the attacker first attacked a “couple” who were German tourists with a knife near Quai de Grenelle, killing one and injuring the other.
The assailant then crossed the Bir-Hakeim bridge over the Seine, with police arriving on the scene as he reached the other side.
Darmanin said the suspect then tried to attack two more people with a hammer while pursued by police, injuring one and leaving the other shocked.
“After his arrest, he said that he could no longer bear Muslims dying in Afghanistan as well as in the Palestinian Territories,” Darmanin said of the attacker.
French news agency AFP cited unnamed police sources as saying the assailant was French-born and a French citizen, and also a known supporter of radical Islam with mental health issues. Unconfirmed reports suggested the attacker had shouted the Arabic for “God is great” during the attack.
Several European countries, including France and Germany, have issued warnings of a heightened threat of Islamist attacks in recent weeks amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.
France also raised its terror threat alert level in October, soon after Hamas’ October 7 attacks in Israel, when a teacher was attacked and killed in class. A few days later, the Louvre art museum and the palace of Versailles were evacuated amid a bomb threat.