Lots of of vacationers have been confined to safe areas of the world-famous artwork gallery in central Paris after the attacker was shot 5 occasions round 10:00 (1100 GMT) in a public space contained in the complicated.
Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve known as the assault “terrorist in nature.”
One soldier was “frivolously injured” and has been taken to hospital, whereas the knifeman is in a critical situation however remains to be alive, safety forces mentioned.
Two backpacks carried by the assailant have been checked by bomb disposal specialists on the scene and have been discovered to not comprise explosives.
The incident sparked contemporary jitters in a rustic nonetheless reeling from a string of terror assaults during the last two years and below a state of emergency since November 2015.
Hundreds of troops have been deployed to protect the capital, with teams of troopers with automated rifles an everyday sight contained in the Louvre and round its sculpture-filled gardens.
“It is so unhappy and stunning… we will not allow them to win, it is horrible,” British vacationer Gillian Simms, who was visiting Paris along with her daughters, advised AFP.
The massive former royal palace within the coronary heart of the town is residence to the Mona Lisa and different famend artistic endeavors but additionally a buying space and quite a few exhibition areas.
The attacker was shot in a buying space that results in the museum.
“The individuals who have been within the museum — there have been about 250 of them — have been held at a distance and confined in safe areas of the Louvre,” metropolis police chief Michel Cadot advised reporters exterior.
A second man whose behaviour was “suspicious” has been arrested, Cadot mentioned, with out giving additional particulars.
France has suffered a string of assaults lately, starting in January 2015 when jihadist gunmen killed journalists on the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper in Paris in revenge for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
One other attacker went on to kill buyers in a Jewish grocery store, with a complete of 17 individuals useless in three days of bloodshed.
Ten months later, gunmen and suicide bombers from the Islamic State jihadist group attacked bars, eating places, a live performance corridor and the nationwide stadium in Paris on November 13, 2015, killing 130 individuals.
And final July, a Tunisian extremist rammed a lorry by crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Good on France’s south coast, crushing 86 individuals to demise.
In November, French police broke up an alleged jihadist terror ring which was considered planning to assault Paris.
Friday’s incident got here on the very day that Paris was submitting its formal bid file to host the 2014 Summer time Olympics.
The Louvre was already affected by a fall in customer numbers after the collection of assaults in France.
Over the past two years, numbers are down about two million, casting doubt on its declare to be probably the most visited museum on the planet.
Final 12 months, there was a 15-percent hunch in guests in comparison with 2015, to round 7.three million.