Paris knife attack: Chechnya president identifies assailant, friend of suspect detained

Earlier, Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov identified the alleged attacker as Khazmat Azimov. Azimov was born in the Russian republic of Chechnya, but was a French citizen.

“I consider it necessary to state that all responsibility for the fact that Khazmat Azimov went on the road of crime lies completely with the authorities of France,” Kadyrov said. “He was only born in Chechnya, and his growing up, the formation of his personality, his views and persuasions occurred in French society.”

The suspect killed one person and injured four others. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the four injured people are out of life-threatening danger, The AP reported.

According to a French judicial official not authorized to speak publicly about the incident told The AP the suspect was on a police watchlist for radicalism.

Update 10:45 a.m. EDT Sunday: The Associated Press reported that the parents of the suspected attacker who killed one person and injured four others are still being questioned, according to a French judicial official. A friend of the assailant has also been taken in for questioning.

The alleged 20 year old attacker was identified by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov as as Khasan Azimov, according to The AP.

Kadyrov said he had been informed the attacker had French citizenship and had a Russian passport until he was 14. 

Interior Ministry spokesman Frederic de Lanouvelle told The Associated Press the alleged attacker had no history of criminal activity or arrests and did not know the victims.

Update 2:49 a.m. EDT Sunday: The attacker who killed a 29-year-old man and hurt four others Saturday in Paris was born in Chechnya but “had French nationality,” The Associated Press reported early Sunday, citing an unnamed judicial official.

The official said the suspect, who was killed by police who responded to the knife attack, was born in 1997, according to the AP.

His parents have been detained for questioning, the official said.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

ORIGINAL STORY: Police responded Saturday evening to reports of a man stabbing people near the Paris Opera.

One person was killed and four others injured in the melee, French authorities said. The suspect targeted the five people, killing one, seriously injuring two and leaving the other two with minor injuries. 

 

The attacker, who has not been identified, died, officials said. The reason for the attack is still unknown. 

The Islamic State group’s news agency said the suspect was a “soldier” and has taken claim for the attack. 

“France is once again paying the price of blood, but will not cede an inch to enemies of freedom,” President Emmanuel Macron said in response to the terror group’s claim.

 

The area has been contained and the situation is under control, according to Paris police.

 

Eyewitnesses shared their account of the incident on social media.

     

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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