Authorities in France have arrested three individuals who they say have ties to the man who stabbed an officer in the chest outside a police station on Monday.

The three people arrested were relatives of the attacker, with one of them working for him and another having ‘housed’ him, French media reported, citing police sources.

The 37-year-old Algerian national was armed with a knife when he stabbed a police officer and tried to attack another before being shot and seriously wounded by their colleague.

The assailant had approached a patrol car outside a police station and then suddenly opened one of the vehicle’s doors, attempting to plunge the knife into the officer’s chest. The policeman was only saved by his bulletproof vest, and emerged unhurt from the incident.

The knifeman reportedly shouted “in the name of the prophet” and “religious slogans” as he attacked, and though a terror-related motive has not been ruled out, France’s national anti-terrorism prosecutor has not yet become involved.

French authorities say the Algerian national, who legally entered France in 2016, had not been known to police for radical views. He is currently being treated in hospital for the gunshot wounds he sustained in the incident, and officials are planning to question him as soon as possible.

A similar stabbing attack on French police took place in April this year, claiming the life of a 49-year-old police administrative employee.

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