A man wielding a machete and shouting “Allahu akhbar” has been shot after attacking a soldier outside the Louvre in Paris, police say.
Security forces evacuated an area around the museum in central Paris on Friday morning after a man was shot when he pulled out a weapon and tried to attack an army patrol.
A French soldier opened fire on and wounded the man, who was reportedly trying to enter the Carrousel du Louvre, a shopping mall beneath the museum.
The man was carrying two bags when he was stopped by soldiers who were patrolling the area as part of a security operation put in place after a spate of deadly terror attacks in France.
“That’s when he got the knife out and that’s when he tried to stab the soldier,” Yves Lefebvre, a police union official, said. He was then shot five times.
“The man is on the ground and is not moving,” one police source told Le Parisien newspaper. Some reports said he had been killed.
Police found two machetes on the man and he was also carrying two bags.
One soldier was “slightly wounded” in the attack, according to police.
As the incident unfolded at around 9.30am GMT, the French interior ministry tweeted that a “serious public security incident is under way” in the Louvre area.
The mall was evacuated and security forces were looking for any explosives that may have been planted there.
A spokesman for the Louvre said the museum was “closed for the moment” but would not confirm reports it had been evacuated. A Reuters witness at the scene said police had cordoned off access to the museum.
The Rue de Rivoli running alongside the museum was closed to traffic while trains were travelling through the Palais Royal-Musee du Louvre metro station without stopping.
The museum in the center of Paris is one of the French capital’s biggest tourist attractions.