A police officer survived a stabbing attack without injury in Cannes, in southern France, with investigation sources telling that a terrorist motive has not yet been ruled out.
The perpetrator was "neutralized" by the officer's colleagues, the French Minister of the Interior said in a tweet.
Victime d’un coup de couteau, le policier n’a heureusement pas été blessé physiquement, grâce à son gilet pare-balles. https://t.co/uGqdnSiX0L— Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) November 8, 2021
A police spokesperson said the attacker was shot and taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Investigation sources told local media that the attacker said he was acting "on behalf of the prophet." That is why it is believed that the event may have a terrorist motivation.
The man was said to have opened the door of a police car in the French Riviera city and then stabbed an officer several times, but a bulletproof vest protected him from injury.
The suspect then tried to stab another officer. One of the officers opened fire, leaving the assailant in hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The motive for the attack was unclear. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said at the scene that the investigation was not currently being led by the anti-terrorism department.
The suspected attacker had an Algerian passport and had residency rights in Italy, he said. He had applied for residency in France as well.
He was not known to have a criminal record, and was not on a list of people who might have been radicalized, Darmanin said.
The first officer attacked was extremely shocked but not wounded, the minister confirmed.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex said he offered the targeted officers his "full support and the solidarity of the nation."
In May, a police officer was attacked near the city of Nantes with a knife. The suspected attacker was psychologically unwell and had been radicalized, the Interior Ministry said at the time.