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Tuesday 26 September 2017

Terror probe after knife attacker targets soldier in Paris

French soldiers patrol under the Eiffel Tower in Paris (AP)
French soldiers patrol under the Eiffel Tower in Paris (AP)
The attacker was quickly arrested, police said

French authorities have launched a terrorism investigation after an attempted knife attack on a soldier patrolling a large Paris subway interchange.

The Paris prosecutor's office said counter-terrorism investigators are probing Friday morning's incident at the Chatelet station in the centre of the capital, based on preliminary examination of the attacker's background.

Police said a knife-wielding assailant tried to attack a soldier but was quickly arrested and no one was hurt.

Traffic and access to the station, which serves multiple subway and commuter train lines, quickly resumed.

The soldier was with the Sentinelle force assigned to protect prominent sites after deadly Islamic extremist attacks in recent years.

Defence minister Florence Parly said on Europe-1 radio that the attack confirms government strategy to make the force "more unpredictable ... for potential attackers".

The attack came the day after the government announced changes to the force, with a greater focus on temporary and seasonal events.

The soldiers will still patrol major tourist sites, places of worship, train stations and airports.

AP

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