In Brief

French police chief and his wife killed in 'terror attack'

Three-year-old boy rescued after 'Islamic State fighter' stabs couple to death

A French police officer and his wife have been stabbed to death in Magnanville, around 35 miles west of Paris, in an attack that has been claimed by Islamic State.

The attacker was killed after police stormed the house, rescuing a three-year-old boy inside.

Paris daily Le Parisien named one of the victims as 42-year-old assistant police chief Jean-Baptiste Salvaing.

"Witnesses told investigators the attacker may have shouted 'Allahu akbar' (God is greatest) as he stabbed the policeman repeatedly outside his home before holding the woman and the boy inside," said The Guardian.

Islamic State's news agency Amaq announced: "Source to Amaq agency: Islamic State fighter kills deputy chief of the police station in the city of Les Mureaux and his wife."

Police said the attacker was a 25-year-old man who had been monitored by security and anti-terrorist services after he received a three-year prison sentence in 2013 for helping Islamist militants go to Pakistan.

French President Francois Hollande called the incident "incontestably a terrorist act" and said the country was facing a terror threat "of a very large scale".

Unnamed sources in the French media have identified the attacker as Larossi Abballa, who lived in nearby Mantes-La-Jolie and was convicted for "criminal association with the aim of preparing terrorist acts", reports the BBC.

French interior minister spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said police had attempted to negotiate with the attacker before elite officers stormed the house at midnight.

"Negotiations were opened, but it became clear that they would not succeed and police then entered the home, where they found the body of a woman," Brandet said. "Thankfully, a little boy was saved. He is safe and sound."

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