Shoot-out after policewoman stabbed in attack in France

Assailant had been caught after a manhunt that involved two police helicopters and more than 200 officers

Reuters May 28, 2021


A man stabbed and badly wounded a policewoman in the town of La Chapelle-sur-Erdre in western France on Friday before he was arrested in a shoot-out, the national gendarmerie force.

The assailant had been caught after a manhunt that involved two police helicopters and more than 200 officers.

There was a shoot-out during the arrest and two officers were shot and wounded. The stabbed policewoman was in a critical state, BFM TV reported.

"The police have neutralised the suspect behind the knife attack against a municipal policewoman in Chapelle-sur-Erdre. Thank you and my thoughts for those officers wounded making the arrest," Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted.

Darmanin said he would be travelling to the scene of the attack.

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The assailant's motive was not immediately clear. The office of France's anti-terrorism prosecutor said it was monitoring the situation but was for now not leading the investigation.

The incident comes a month after a female police administrative worker was knifed to death near Paris by a Tunisian national. The man, who police said stole his victim's weapon, initially fled in a car before a crash forced him to continue on foot.

Schools in the area were under police protection while police conducted a manhunt in an area to the north of the city of Nantes.

The suspect was tracked down and surrounded in a forest near Chapelle-sur-Erdre, the regional newspaper Ouest France reported. He opened fire on officers, a police source said.

Tackling domestic security is likely to be at the centre of the campaign ahead of next year's presidential election.

Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right and the strongest challenger to Emmanuel Macron's expected re-election bid, paints the president was weak on security and says the police need more protection.