Paris police shoot attacker near Notre-Dame Cathedral

The man who attacked police officers patrolling in front of Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral, shouting "This is for Syria!", was a mature student who had not been suspected of radicalisation, a French government spokesman has said.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the attacker was carrying the identification card of an Algerian student and that preliminary information indicated he had acted alone.

Prosecutors confirmed the area would remain on lockdown until police were confident there was no further threat.

Paris police said a "number of police" are at the square in front of the cathedral. According to police, the individual shouted that the attack was committed in retaliation for French policy in Syria and called himself a "caliphate warrior" of Daesh terror group, outlawed in Russian Federation.

Hundreds of people were in the cathedral at the time and peope in the area ran for cover.

Some Twitter users posted videos and images of the scene post the cordon.

In the surveillance video provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday, the man can be seen lunging at the officers before he is shot and falls to the ground.

Paris is also reeling from an April attack at the Champs-Elysees that left a police officer dead.

The attack comes with France on high alert for more jihadist strikes after a weekend attack in London, where extremists used a van and knives to crush to death and kill seven people, one of them French.

Kyle Riches, a tourist from San Francisco, was with his wife walking through the plaza outside Notre-Dame when they heard gunshots and dropped to the ground.

The performance of France's intelligence services has come under close scrutiny since the November 2015 attacks on Paris, when militant gunmen and suicide bombers struck entertainment venues across the capital, killing 130 people. "We had no idea if there were any accomplices inside", she said.

Police said the operation was over about an hour after it started.

One person inside the cathedral tweeted that everyone there was safe and shared a photo.

Ambassador Nancy Soderberg said she was admiring the church's stained glass windows on Tuesday when she heard an announcement in French urging visitors to stay calm as police dealt with an incident outside.

Others fled in panic from the sprawling esplanade outside the cathedral.

  • Leroy Wright