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2 Killed In Knife Attack Outside Paris

French hooded police officers guard the area with other police officers after a knife attack Thursday west of Paris.
Michel Euler
French hooded police officers guard the area with other police officers after a knife attack Thursday west of Paris.

French authorities said a knife attacker killed two people and seriously wounded one more in the Paris suburb of Trappes Thursday morning before being killed by police.

Police "neutralized" the attacker who is now dead, the Yvelines region's Twitter account said Thursday, adding that the police operation had ended.

The two people killed were the man's mother and sister. The third victim was a female passerby who was seriously wounded, The Associated Press reports.

The 36-year-old attacker had psychiatric problems, French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb told reporters.

"The profile of the assailant is more that of an unbalanced psychiatric background than that of a committed person responding to the orders of a terrorist organization," Collomb wrote in a translated tweet.

Collomb told reporters the man was "known [to police] for advocating terrorism," the AP says, though Collomb downplayed that element.

Collomb said the man killed his mother in her home and attacked the others outside.

"My first thoughts go to the victims and their loved ones," Collomb said earlier in a translated tweet.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist media — though the terrorist group has often claimed responsibility for attacks despite having no clear link to the actual attacker.

Collomb reportedly said authorities are not treating the incident as a case of terrorism.

The attack comes as a new audio recording emerged of a person claiming to be the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, encouraging followers to carry out "lone-wolf" attacks in the West.

Knife-wielding assailants have struck France before. In May, a man killed at least one and wounded four others before being shot dead by police in central Paris.

Almost a year earlier, a man with a hammer and knives attacked police officers near Notre Dame Cathedral.

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James Doubek is an associate editor and reporter for NPR. He frequently covers breaking news for and NPR's hourly newscast. In 2018, he reported feature stories for NPR's business desk on topics including electric scooters, cryptocurrency, and small business owners who lost out when Amazon made a deal with Apple.