Paris, Apr 23 (EFE).- The fatal stabbing Friday of a policewoman by a suspected Muslim extremist from Tunisia revived France’s trauma over Islamic terrorism amid official focus on taming the Covid-19 pandemic.
The assailant, described as a 36-year-old man previously unknown to authorities, died after being shot by police.
With the killing at the police station in Rambouillet, 60 km (37 mi) of Paris, the death toll from Islamist attacks in France since 2012 grew to 269.
“The nation is by the side of her family, her colleagues and security forces,” President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter, identifying the slain woman only as Stephanie.
He vowed that France would never make concessions to violent Islamists.
Prime Minister Jean Castex and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin rushed to Rambouillet in the wake of the attack along with France’s chief anti-terror prosecutor, Jean-François Ricard.
“Comments made by the assailant” were among the elements indicating that terrorism was the motive for the attack, Ricard told reporters.
The killer arrived in France as an undocumented migrant in 2009, but managed to become a legal resident a decade later.
French media, citing police sources, said the Tunisian shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Arabic for “God is Greatest”) as he stabbed Stephanie, a 49-year-old mother of two.
An anonymous police source said that the attack unfolded near the station entrance at around 2:20 pm as Stephanie, who worked as an administrative assistant, was returning from her lunch break.
Darmanin said that additional security measures would be implement at police stations across France.
Friday’s killing in Rambouillet is the first terrorist incident in France since last October, when a Muslim extremist – also Tunisian – fatally stabbed three people in a Catholic cathedral in the southern city of Nice.
Two weeks before the carnage in Nice, 47-year-old teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by a Muslim militant outside the middle school near Paris where he had shown pupils a caricature of the prophet Muhammad published by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo during a discussion on freedom of speech. EFE