PARIS – A man has been shot by police outside the cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris after he tried to attack an officer using a hammer, police say.
The suspect has been wounded in the chest, French media report. Officials say this is a “terrorist incident”.
Some 900 people are still inside the cathedral. Pictures on social media show some holding their hands up.
France is in a state of emergency since attacks by jihadists in Paris left 130 people dead in 2015.
The area around the cathedral has been closed. People have been asked to stay away. Eyewitnesses said tourists fled for cover.
“I was about to come inside (the cathedral) and heard the noise, the gunshots, turned around and saw the assailant on the ground where they had shot him,” said Kellyn Gorman, an American tourist.
“It was very safe, very quickly contained.”
The Notre-Dame is one of the most visited tourist sites in Paris. Last year, police foiled an attack near the site.
The incident comes just three days after extremists used a van and knives in an attack in London which left seven dead.
Recent terror attacks in France
20 Apr 2017 – A convicted criminal who was investigated for threatening to kill police opens fire at police on the Champs Elysees in Paris, killing one and wounding two. He is shot dead – and the assault is claimed by IS.
3 Feb 2017 – A machete-wielding Egyptian man shouting “Allahu akbar” attacks French soldiers at Paris’s Louvre Museum – he is shot and wounded.
26 Jul 2016 – Two attackers slits the throat of a priest at his church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, in Normandy. They are shot dead by police.
14 Jul 2016 – A huge lorry mows down a crowd of people on the Nice beachfront during Bastille Day celebrations, killing 86. IS claims the attack – by a Tunisian-born driver, later shot dead by police.
13 Jun 2016 -A knife-wielding jihadist kills a police officer and his partner at their home in Magnanville, west of Paris. He declares allegiance to IS, and police later kill him.
13 Nov 2015 – IS jihadists armed with bombs and assault rifles attack Paris, targeting the national stadium, cafes and Bataclan concert hall. The co-ordinated assault leaves 130 people dead, and more than 350 wounded.
7-9 Jan 2015 – Two Islamist gunmen storm the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 17 people. Another Islamist militant kills a policewoman the next day and takes hostages at a Jewish supermarket in Paris. Four hostages are killed before police shoot the gunman dead. The other two gunmen are cornered and killed by police in a siege. – BBC