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Radicalized ex-prisoner killed in shoot-out after stabbing policewoman in western France

The assailant was cornered after a manhunt that involved two police helicopters and more than 200 officers, the national gendarmerie force said.
Image: French policewoman badly wounded in attack in western France
A French gendarme secures the area after an assailant stabbed and badly wounded a policewoman in La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, western France, on Friday.Stephane Mahe / Reuters
/ Source: Reuters

CHAPELLE-SUR-ERDRE, France — A radicalized ex-prisoner on a watch list of potential terrorist threats stabbed a policewoman inside her station in western France on Friday and died following a shoot-out with police, a government minister said.

The victim was seriously wounded but expected to survive, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said.

The assailant had been released from prison in March following an eight-year sentence for violent crime and was on a security services register for individuals who might pose a terrorism risk.

"He was flagged in 2016 for a strict practice of Islam, for radicalization," Darmanin told reporters after visiting the police station in Chapelle-sur-Erdre, near Nantes in western France, where the attack occurred.

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

The assailant was cornered after a manhunt that involved two police helicopters and more than 200 officers, the national gendarmerie force 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, it 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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Stephanie Monferme was killed in the doorway to her police station by a Tunisian national who had watched Islamic religious videos glorifying acts of jihad just before launching his attack.

Darmanin said the suspect in Friday's assault had been diagnosed as severely schizophrenic and was under medical treatment following his release from prison. He had been placed in an apartment where he was monitored by specialists, Darmanin added.

The suspect, who had stolen his victim's gun, opened fire on officers, Darmanin said.