Louvre attack: Man shot after wounding soldier with machete
Assailant shouted 'Allahu Akbar' before the assault outside entrance to museum
A man has been shot outside the Louvre in Paris after attacking a soldier with a machete, according to French media.
Four soldiers were patrolling the Carrousel du Louvre, an underground shopping arcade adjoining the museum, at 9.45am (8.45am GMT) this morning when they were approached by a man near an escalator leading to the museum entrance.
The assailant attacked one soldier with a machete, leaving him with a slight scalp wound, Le Monde reports, before a second soldier opened fire, shooting the knifeman five times.
A photo taken inside the shopping centre by a Chinese tour guide and posted to Twitter by journalist Stephane Kovacs shows a man lying prone on the ground, surrounded by armed police officers.
The French interior ministry confirmed on Twitter that a "serious" security incident was taking place at the Louvre, which was evacuated and remains closed to the public.
French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that the incident clearly represented "an attack of a terrorist nature", Liberation reports.
In a press conference, police chief Michel Cadot said the man had shouted: "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great," in Arabic) and made other remarks that indicated his actions were intended as a terrorist attack.
Cadot said that the attacker had been wounded in the stomach, but that he was "conscious". No explosives were found in the two rucksacks he was carrying.
Chief of Defence Staff General Pierre de Villiers commended the two soldiers involved for their "determination, professionalism and cool-headedness" in subduing the attacker and preventing any casualties.
The soldiers were patrolling the approach to the Louvre as part of Operation Sentinelle, which was introduced in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January 2015 to increase the military presence in the French capital.