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Louvre attack: French soldier shoots knifeman

A French soldier on Friday opened fire on and wounded a man armed with a knife who was trying to enter the Louvre museum in central Paris, reports said.

Police sources told the Reuters news agency that the man had been trying to get into the museum’s underground shop with a suitcase. Police said the area had been evacuated.

The interior ministry said on Twitter the incident was “serious”.

Evénement grave de publique en cours à quartier du , priorité à l’intervention des forces de sécurité et de secours

A spokewoman for the Louvre said the museum was “closed for the moment” but would not confirm reports it had been evacuated. A Reuters witness at the scene said police had cordoned off access.

The huge former royal palace in the heart of the city is home to the Mona Lisa and other world-famous works of art but also a shopping complex and numerous exhibition spaces.

France has suffered a string of attacks, beginning in January 2015 when gunmen killed cartoonists and journalists at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper in Paris in revenge for publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

Another attacker went on to kill shoppers in a Jewish supermarket, bringing the total number of people killed to 17 in three days of bloodshed.

Ten months later, gunmen and suicide bombers from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group attacked bars, restaurants, a concert hall and the national stadium in Paris on November 13, 2015, killing 130 people.

Last July, a Tunisian extremist rammed a lorry through crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice on France’s south coast, crushing 86 people to death.