A radicalized Islamist knife that stabbed a policewoman and then fled with its handgun has been shot dead by police in France.
The man, named by Le Figaro as Ndiaga Dieye, in his forties, launched the attack inside a police station in La Chappelle-sur-Erdre, near the city of Nantes, around 10 a.m. – repeatedly stabbing the woman and leaving her with life – threatening injuries.
He then fled on foot before launching a second attack on the gendarmes several hours later, shooting one in the hand and the other in the arm before also being shot.
Dieye was arrested in serious condition but later died of his injuries. Police sources said he was in jail until March this year, when he was reported to a specialized radicalization program after converting to a “harsh” form of Islam in 2016.
He was also known to suffer from psychiatric problems and was diagnosed with schizophrenia the same year he was converted.
A knife that stabbed a policewoman in a police station in La Chappelle-sur-Erdre in western France on Friday morning was shot dead by gendarmes
Officers say the man – locally named Ndiaga Dieye, in his 40s – repeatedly stabbed the woman in the legs and arms, stole her service weapon, and then fled the scene.
Several hours after the initial stabbing, the man went on a shooting with gendarmes – slightly injuring two before being shot himself (photo, a French soldier on the spot)
It follows a series of similar attacks across France, including a policewoman who was killed by an Islamist knife in the Paris suburb of Rambouillet last month.
Friday’s attacks saw the man “repeatedly hit the policewoman with a knife inside the police headquarters,” according to a local police spokesperson.
“The man then grabbed the officer’s pistol and fled the scene,” the spokesperson said.
240 officers, including members of the elite GIGN armed intervention unit, have since been mobilized to search for the attacker.
Local residents were told not to leave their homes and students were locked inside schools.
The injured officer, who has not been named, was rushed to hospital with a “very serious thigh injury which could be life threatening,” the source said.
Witnesses said they saw the attacker get into a VW Golf after the attack, but then crashed the car, got out and fled on the food.
The attack occurred in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, a town near the city of Nantes
Police say the suspect converted to Islam while in prison and was referred to a radicalization unit, and also had a history of psychiatric problems
French soldiers patrol the town of La Chapelle-sur-Erdre after a policewoman was stabbed on Friday morning, before the suspect fled
“He brandished the pistol taken from the police officer he stabbed,” said the spokesperson for the town hall.
Heavily armed GIGN officers are leading the manhunt, along with police and gendarmes, and a helicopter has been deployed, the spokesperson added.
There was no initial clue as to the knife’s motives, the police spokesperson said.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen tweeted after the attack that “I refuse to accept that this is our daily life,” adding: “We must finally fight this barbarism and never, absolutely never get used to it . “
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said he was going to the scene of the attack with Secretary of State for Youth Sarah El Haïry to oversee the operation.
This follows a series of such attacks, notably in Rambouillet last month. A 36-year-old Tunisian immigrant stabbed a police officer to death and was later shot dead by police.
Other attacks included the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty by a terrorist of Russian origin in October of last year.
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen tweeted after the attack that “I refuse to accept that this is our daily life” and “we must finally fight this barbarism”
The deadliest terrorist attack ever in the country took place in November 2015, when 130 people were killed in Paris.
ISIS suicide bombers targeted the Stade de France, cafes, restaurants and the Bataclan concert hall, where 90 died.
Earlier this year, two Paris-born gunmen linked to Al Qaeda broke into the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 and injuring 11.
In July 2016, 86 people were killed and more than 400 injured when a 19-ton truck was deliberately pushed into the crowd on the seafront promenade in Nice, southern France.
The terrorist turned out to be a radicalized Tunisian immigrant shot dead by police.
In the same month, two Isis terrorists murdered an 86-year-old Catholic priest during a religious service in Normandy.
There were frequent knife attacks against law enforcement, leading to the deaths of police officers on duty.
In October 2019, a radicalized computer scientist working at the Paris prefecture in central Paris stabbed four of his colleagues to death.
The attacker – who was also shot – turned out to be a Muslim convert who kept extremist Al Qaeda and Islamic State documents and images on his computer.