Knifeman on run after ‘slashing woman officer several times and stealing her gun’ inside a French police station leaving her fighting for her life
- Female cop attacked inside police station in Chappelle-sur-Erdre, near Nantes
- Officer ‘slashed repeatedly’ by man who then stole her pistol and fled the scene
- He is now being hunted by armed officers who are searching around Nantes
- It is the latest in a series of similar attacks in France, with a policewoman killed by a Tunisian refugee last month near Paris
A knifeman is on the run in France after stabbing a female police officer repeatedly inside a police station and then stealing her pistol.
The horrifying attack took place in La Chappelle-sur-Erdre, close to the western city of Nantes, shortly after 10am.
Police said the officer – a woman in her 40s – was wounded ‘in the thigh, arms and legs’ and that her injuries are potentially life-threatening.
It follows a series of similar attacks across France, including a female police worker who was killed by an Islamist knifeman in the Paris suburb of Rambouillet last month.
Armed police are hunting for a knifeman who slashed a female police officer and then stole her pistol and went on the run near the French city of Nantes
Officers say the woman – aged in her 40s – was stabbed in the legs and arms inside a police station in La Chappelle-sur-Erdre around 10am, and has potentially life-threatening wounds
Friday’s attacks saw the man ‘slash the woman officer several times with a knife inside the police headquarters,’ according to a local police spokesman.
‘The man then grabbed the officer’s pistol and fled the scene,’ the spokesman said.
240 officers, including members of the elite GIGN armed response unit, have since been mobilised to search for the attacker.
Local residents have been told not to leave their homes, and students have been locked down inside schools.
The wounded officer, who has not been named, was rushed to hospital with a ‘very serious thigh injury which could be life threatening,’ said the source.
Witnesses said they saw the attacker get into a VW Golf after the attack, but then crashed the car, got out and fled on food.
‘He was brandishing the pistol taken from the police officer he stabbed,’ said the town hall spokesman.
Heavily armed GIGN officers were leading the manhunt, along with police and gendarmes, and a helicopter had been deployed, the spokesman added.
There was no initial clue as to the knifeman’s motives, said the police spokesman.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen tweeted after the attack that ‘I refuse to accept this is our daily life’, adding: ‘We must finally fight this barbarism and never, absolutely never get used to it.’
It comes after a series of such attacks including in Rambouillet last month in which a 36-year-old immigrant from Tunisia stabbed a policewoman to death and was subsequently shot dead by police.
Other attacks have included the beheading of schoolteacher Samuel Paty by a Russian-born terrorist in October last year.
The deadliest single terrorist attack ever in the country came in November 2015 when 130 people were killed in Paris.
Suicide bombers pledging allegiance to ISIS targeted the Stade de France, cafes, restaurants and the Bataclan music venue, where 90 died.
Earlier in the year, two Paris-born gunmen linked to Al-Qaeda broke into the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, leaving 12 dead and 11 wounded.
In July 2016, 86 people were killed and more than 400 injured when a 19-tonne truck was deliberately driven into crowds on the seafront promenade at Nice, in the South of France.
The terrorist turned out to be a radicalised Tunisian immigrant who was shot dead by police.
During the same month, two Isis terrorists murdered an 86-year-old Catholic priest during a church service in Normandy.
There have been frequent knife attacks on the forces of law and order, leading to the deaths of serving police.
In October 2019, a radicalised computer operative working at the Paris Prefecture in central Paris stabbed four of his colleagues to death.
The attacker – who was also shot dead – turned out to be a Muslim convert who kept extremist Al-Qaeda and Islamic State literature and images on his computer.
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