A senior French police officer and his female companion were killed following an attack by a knife-wielding man in a distant suburb of Paris, officials said Monday. The attacker was also killed in the ensuing confrontation with police, while a three-year-old boy was rescued from the scene.
Islamic State was responsible for the stabbing death of a police commander in front of his home in a Paris suburb Monday night, the militant group’s Amaq news agency said.
“Source to Amaq agency: Islamic State fighter kills deputy chief of the police station in the city of Les Mureaux and his wife,” Amaq said on its news website
The police commander was stabbed to death outside his home in Magnanville, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) west of Paris, interior minister spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told reporters at the scene. The attacker then retreated indoors before elite police commandos stormed the residence. The woman and the attacker were found dead; a little boy was found safe and sound.
“The toll is a heavy one,” Brandet told reporters, his voice shaking with emotion. “This commander, this police officer was killed by the individual … (and) we discovered the body of a woman. The assailant, the criminal was killed. Thankfully, a little boy was saved. He was in the house. He’s safe and sound. He was saved by police officers.”
French prosecutor Vincent Lesclous _ who said he knew the slain police commander _ told reporters that the boy was found “shocked but unharmed.”
“The investigation is beginning. We have no indication _ serious (indication) _ on the motivation behind this act,” he said.
The identity of the assailant was not immediately clear. France, like other countries in Europe, has seen a wave of jihadist violence _ often stabbings _ aimed at police officers or soldiers.
Although officials said the attacker was killed by police when they stormed the residence, it was unclear how the woman was killed, or what the couple’s precise relation was to the rescued child.
In a statement, France’s Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve identified the male victim as a police commander and said that his female companion also worked for the Interior Ministry.
He said the investigation would help determine the circumstances of “this tragedy that has shocked all of France.”