IS-linked’ radical kills two in attack on French police

MAGNANVILLE: A known radical claiming allegiance to the Islamic State group killed a French policeman and his partner in what President Francois Hollande on Tuesday branded a “terrorist act”.

Monday’s assault in a small town northwest of Paris is the first deadly strike in France since the coordinated attacks in the capital by an Islamic State cell in November, and comes with the country on high alert as it hosts the Euro 2016 football championship.

The assailant, who was killed in an operation by elite police to end a standoff at the policeman’s house in Magnanville, was identified as Larossi Abballa, 25, from the nearby suburb of Mantes-la-Jolie.

Two people with links to Abballa have been arrested, police sources said.

Abballa stabbed the unnamed 42-year-old policeman repeatedly outside his home before holing up inside with the policeman’s 36-year-old partner and their three-year-old son, investigators said.

The woman was found dead with knife wounds to her neck while the toddler was found “in shock but unharmed,” a police source said.

Witnesses told investigators the man shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) as he knifed his victim.

Hollande condemned the “cowardly” killings, which follow several attacks on the army and police in the past two years, including a number of stabbings by so-called lone wolf operatives.

Monday’s stabbings also come two days after a gunman claiming to be acting in the name of IS shot dead 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Sunday in the worst mass shooting in US history.-AFP