French prosecutors open terror probe in police officer’s fatal stabbing

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French prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation into the fatal stabbing of a police officer inside her police station on Friday.

The assailant was shot and killed by officers nearby.

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The national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said it has taken over the case, opening an investigation into murder of a person of public authority in relation with a terrorist group.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard, whose office is leading the investigation, said outside the station in Rambouillet that “comments made by the assailant” indicated a terror motive by the Tunisian suspect, who was shot and killed by police.

The police officer was stabbed to death inside her police station near the historic Rambouillet chateau outside Paris, and fellow officers shot and killed the suspected attacker at the scene, authorities said.

The identity and motive of the assailant were not immediately clear, a national police spokesperson told The Associated Press.49-year-old administrative employee in the station, the spokesperson said.

“We are in a state of astoundment,” Karl Olive, vice president of the regional council, said on BFM television.

The attack took place southwest of Paris just inside the police station in a quiet residential area of the town of Rambouillet, about 750 meters (yards) from a former royal estate that is sometimes used for international peace negotiations. Police cordons ringed the area after the stabbing.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and other top officials visited the scene of the attack to show their support for police.

France has seen deadly attacks against police in the past, including some by Islamic extremists.

Read more: Five women arrested in suspected attack plot targeting French city of Montpellier

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