By Alexis Diao
A police officer cordons off the area after a knife attack in central Paris on Saturday. The Paris police said the attacker was stopped by officers.
Updated at 11 p.m. ET
In what is being investigated as a terrorism incident, a man wielding a knife attacked five people on Saturday night, killing at least one and injuring four others, two seriously.
NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley reports that the assailant was shot dead by police. The attack occurred in central Paris, near the Opera Garnier.
After the stabbings, which took place on rue Monsigny in the Right Bank neighborhood at about 9 p.m. local time, Paris police officers began evacuating some people from nearby buildings.
The Paris prosecutor says that the attacker yelled “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great.”
1) I came out of a comedy show near Opera in central Paris and was immediately told to go back in because there was a madman with a knife. Once back inside we heard sirens and 2 gun shots. I then spoke to eyewitnesses who told me a man stabbed multilple people at random. pic.twitter.com/xvTmAv0ckb
— Charles Pellegrin (@ChPilgrim) May 12, 2018
France has been on high alert over the last three years because of a string of terrorist attacks that have been commissioned or inspired by the Islamic State.
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb praised the work of police and is urging people to be careful about spreading fake news, tweeting: “Please do not share misinformation. Please only share information coming from a trusted source.”
President Emmanuel Macron also commended police who “neutralized the terrorist” on Twitter, and expressed his condolences for the victims. France will not cede to the “enemies of freedom,” he tweeted.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, The Associated Press reports:
The Islamic State group’s Aamaq news agency said in a statement early Sunday that the assailant carried out the attack in response to the group’s calls for supporters to target members of the U.S.-led military coalition squeezing the extremists out of Iraq and Syria.
The Aamaq statement did not provide evidence for its claim or details on the assailant’s identity.
NPR’s Emma Bowman contributed to this report