Man killed in shoot-out after stabbing policewoman in western France

CHAPELLE-SUR-ERDRE, France — A man stabbed and badly wounded a policewoman in the town of La Chapelle-sur-Erdre in western France on Friday, and he later died following a shoot-out with officers, the national gendarmerie force said.

The assailant was cornered after a manhunt that involved two police helicopters and more than 200 officers, it said.

There was a shoot-out as officers moved in to arrest the man, police said. He died shortly afterwards and two officers were wounded, police added. The stabbed policewoman was in a critical condition, BFM TV reported.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin tweeted that he would be travelling to the scene of the attack.

French special police forces and firefighters in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, western France, on Friday.Stephane Mahe / Reuters

There was no immediate announcement on the assailant’s motive. The office of France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor said it was monitoring the situation but was for now not leading the investigation.

A source close to the investigation told Reuters the suspect had been released from jail in March following a conviction for violence. He was reported by prison staff to have been radicalized in jail, the source added.

The incident came a month after a female police administrative worker was stabbed to death near Paris by a Tunisian national who had watched Islamic religious videos glorifying acts of jihad just before launching his attack.

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On Friday, the attacker stole his victim’s weapon and initially fled in a car before a crash forced him to continue on foot, police said.

He was tracked down and surrounded in a forest near Chapelle-sur-Erdre, the regional newspaper Ouest France reported. He opened fire on officers, a police source said.

Schools were under police protection in the area to the north of the city of Nantes.

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