International media was wall-to-wall coverage of the incident in the morning. A Police source told Reuters that the man was armed with a machete and tried to get into the Carousel du Louvre, a commercial shopping center near the entrance of the Louvre and a popular Parisian tourist spot.
Paris police chief Michel Cadot said the attacker was reported to have shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greatest”) and attacked another soldier before being shot near the museum’s shopping mall. One soldier was slightly wounded while the other soldier fired five times, hitting the man in the legs and stomach and seriously injuring him.
“We are dealing with an attack from an individual who was clearly aggressive and represented a direct threat, and whose comments lead us to believe that he wished to carry out a terrorist incident,” said Cadot, who added that no explosives were found in the man’s bags.
He added: “There was also a second individual who was behaving suspiciously, who has also been detained, but for now there does not appear to be a link between that individual and the attack.”
French Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said it appeared to be an “attack of terrorist nature.”
It’s a sad but familiar feeling for the city of Paris, which has been subjected to a series of terrorist attacks in the last two years. In January 2015, 17 people were killed when gunmen attacked the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hedbo in the French capital and customers at a Jewish supermarket.
In November that year, suicide bombers and gunmen linked to ISIS killed 130 people in an attack that spread from the Bataclan concert hall, the national stadium and bars and restaurants.
Last July, a man drove a truck into a crowd in the city of Nice, killing 86 people.
Since then, the country has been on high alert. Soldiers have been patrolling the streets of Paris as part of the Operation Sentenelle foot-patrols around French landmarks since the attacks.
France is less than three months away from a Presidential election and in the run up, national security and terrorism fears have been prominent issues.