Paris police shoot, injure attacker near Notre Dame Cathedral

That attack was claimed by Islamic State.

France is in a state of emergency since attacks by jihadists in Paris left 130 people dead in 2015. One person in the cathedral said officers instructed them to "raise their hands".

French Interior Minister Gérard Colomb said the attacker cried "it's for Syria". Hundreds of people were at the cathedral at the time.

Notre-Dame cathedral is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris, and visitors typically line up in long queues to enter the building.

Among the several hundred people ordered to remain inside the cathedral was former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nancy Soderberg.

"People got real agitated", Soderberg said. Others fled in panic from the sprawling esplanade outside the cathedral. The French officer is also wounded, though his condition has not been made clear.

"The police didn't seem interested in him at the beginning", Mr Metreau said. "I was scared, I thought it was a bomb", said Juan, a Mexican in his 50s. Trapped in Notre Dame Cathedral after police shoot a man.

"From what we understand, there was nobody else", he said. "Now everyone just wants to go home".

Collomb also said French President Emannuel Macron will deliver a statement on Wednesday on how to combat terrorism. Police wrote on Twitter that those inside would be allowed to leave "after the usual checks". "His colleague opened fire, ensuring the attacked officer didn't suffer any more serious harm".

"Locked inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris while police investigate attack outside against a policeman". The police officer who was attacked responded by firing on the man, who is lying on the ground injured, but reportedly still alive. "We hope he's a fool, not a terrorist", said Nick, who didn't provide his full name.

It was too early to tell if the attack would have any impact on the outcome of the two-round parliamentary election.

In addition to a hammer, police found kitchen knives and other unsophisticated weapons on the wounded assailant, Collomb told reporters.

"A man came behind these police officers and, armed with a hammer, started hitting one of them".

More were killed subsequently in attacks on a kosher market in eastern Paris and on police.

It is unclear whether the attacker was acting alone. They are urging people to stay away from the area.

Police said the situation is under control.

Paris police tweeted that one officer was wounded in the attack.

  • Leroy Wright