Officers at France’s Saint-Lazare station have reportedly shot a knife-wielding man who ran at staff shouting, “Allahu Akbar! France is ruled by the Islamic State,” following a routine request to follow Covid safety protocols.

The man was shot on Monday evening, after he threatened station staff with a knife, leaving one security officer seriously injured, according to France’s BFMTV.

According to French media, he was previously known to police, having committed acts of violence, but had not been known to the intelligence services or been considered a terrorist threat prior to the incident.

Having initially been stopped for failing to wear a mask in compliance with Covid safety measures, he reportedly became aggressive with staff, before pulling out a knife and running at security officers, screaming, “Allahu Akbar! France is ruled by the Islamic State.”

Despite managing to harm one of them, the assailant was quickly shot twice, falling onto the tracks. He was subsequently rushed to hospital, where he is believed to be undergoing treatment. 

“The two agents used their service weapons to defend and neutralize him. The injured individual was taken care of by the emergency services,” French media reported, citing a press release from the SNCF, which operates the country’s rail network.

An investigation into the incident has been launched by the Paris prosecutor’s office and the judicial police. 

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