France launches terror probe after policewoman stabbed to death

April 23, 2021
President Emmanuel Macron named the victim as
President Emmanuel Macron named the victim as "Stephanie" and write that "the Nation stands with her family, her colleagues and security forces." — Courtesy photo

PARIS — A female police officer has died after being attacked with a knife near Paris on Friday afternoon.

It happened at a police station in Rambouillet, some 60 kilometers southwest of the French capital, as the officer, 48, was returning from lunch. She died on the spot.

Police sources have told AFP that the suspect, a 36-year-old man of Tunisian nationality, was shot by another officer and died. He was not known to police or intelligence services.

The National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor's Office (PNAT) has launched an investigation into the charges of murder of a public official in relation to a terrorist undertaking and terrorist conspiracy."

The National Anti-Terrorist Prosecutor Jean-François Ricard told reporters at the scene that the probe was motivated by the modus operandi including the location, the profile of the victim "but also the remarks made by the author during the realization of the facts".

President Emmanuel Macron named the victim as "Stephanie" and write that "the Nation stands with her family, her colleagues and security forces."

"In the fight against terrorism, we will not give up," he added.

Both Prime Minister Jean Castex and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin visited the police station "to review the situation" with local authorities, the government said in a statement.

"They will lend their support to the victim's colleagues and through them to the entire national police force" which were "once again targeted", the statement said.

Castex paid tribute to the officer on Twitter, writing: "The Republic has just lost one of its everyday heroines, in a barbaric and infinitely cowardly act."

"I want to express the support of the entire nation to her family. To our security forces, I want to say that I share their emotion and indignation," he added.

Darmanin has meanwhile called on prefects to strengthen security measures around police stations and gendarmerie brigades,

The SCPN union representing police chiefs said on Twitter that the service is "once again bereaved by a despicable attack. We support the family and friends of our colleague."

"All police officers of all ranks and all corps know that to serve is to risk one's life in the face of fanaticism and extremists," it added. — Euronews

April 23, 2021
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