Muslim Man Pulls Knife On Police At Train Station

From Daily-Mail:
Panicked passengers fled in terror as a knifeman was arrested at Paris' Gare du Nord station just a day before the French presidential vote.

The drama happened on a day of unrest in the French capital, during which police released tear gas after being pelted with flares and other makeshift weapons in a pre-election riot.

Footage of the station arrest shows armed police surround the man, who was restrained on the ground.

Panicked passengers abandoned their luggage as they fled, and boarding of Eurostar services was briefly suspended this afternoon. Police sources say the arrested man is a 20-year-old from Mali.

Tensions are high across France following Thursday night's ISIS-inspired assassination of police officer Xavier Jugele by fanatic Karim Cheurfi at the Champs Elysee.

Today masked protesters hurled bottles and stones at legions of officers who flooded central Paris following the killing. A 200-strong mob hijacked a peaceful rally organised by left-wing unions and communists.

Voters will go to the polls tomorrow in the first round of the country's presidential election.

Describing the incident at Gare de Nord, a French police official said that a man carrying a knife walked into the station and was flagged to officers, who arrested him immediately before anyone could be harmed.

French TV network BFMTV reports that the man did not resist arrest, and a police source said he claimed he was carrying the knife because he was afraid for his life. He was not previously known to police.

Another police source added that the arrest caused a 'panic movement' with a number of travellers abandoning their luggage in the middle of the station.

One police source said that some people saw the man, a 20-year-old Malian, 'inside the station, knife in hand' and pointed him out to police, who detained him.

The station was briefly closed before reopening around 4pm. Boarding for Eurostar trains to London was also suspended for a short time, according to an AFP journalist at the scene.

The Gare de Nord is one of the French capital's top transit hubs, serving the city's metro, suburban trains as well as intercity and high-speed trains like the Eurostar from London.

He was told to lie down and followed the orders before he was arrested.

The scene led panic among passengers who tried to flee the scene, a witness said, adding that trains have been delayed.

It comes less than 48 hours after Thursday's murder of police officer Xavier Jugele by ISIS fanatic Karim Cheurfi.

Cheurfi, 39, drove his silver Audi on to the Champs Elysee, the most famous street in the French capital, and 'targeted' officers using a Kalashnikov on Thursday night.

He killed the 37-year-old policeman as he sat in a patrol van at a red light and hit another police officer in the chest, but he survived because he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

The first poll conducted entirely after Thursday's attack suggested National Front leader Marine Le Pen had gained some ground on frontrunner Emmanuel Macron.

While he was still seen winning the first round with 24.5 percent, his score slipped half a percentage point while Le Pen's rose by one to 23 percent.

Conservative Francois Fillon, a former prime minister, and the far left's Jean-Luc Melenchon were both down half a percentage point on 19 percent in the Odoxa poll for the newspaper Le Point.

The leading candidates have clashed over how to keep citizens safe in the wake of the attack, as residents in overseas territories were pictured casting their votes.

Cheurfi, 39, drove his silver Audi on to the Champs Elysee, the most famous street in the French capital, and 'targeted' officers using a Kalashnikov on Thursday night.

He killed the 37-year-old policeman as he sat in a patrol van at a red light and hit another police officer in the chest, but he survived because he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

And experts agree Thursday's atrocity could tip the scales in Le Pen's favour, ahead of Sunday's election.

Fredrik Erixon, director at the European Centre for International Political Economy, told CNBC: '[It could lead to] a greater performance of Marine Le Pen than otherwise would have been the case.

'It's difficult to see how this attack will not play into the hands of political forces that want this campaign to be focused only on issues around migration and terrorism.'
Vishnu Varathan, senior economist at Mizuho Bank, added: 'The Paris gunman attack may well swing support in her favor; and this may not be picked up by the polls in a timely manner.'

More than half of police officers in France had already said they were voting for Le Pen because of her strong anti-terror stance, according to an IFOP poll.

But some voters, fearful that Le Pen has been strengthened by the instability, said they would shift their votes from fringe candidates to make sure to keep the far-right out of power.

'With an attack such as this one, I think the National Front will get a good result. Therefore I'll change my intention and cast a useful vote - either Melenchon or Macron,' said physics teacher Omar Ilys, 44.

Polling stations have opened today in France's far-flung overseas territories for the country's unpredictable presidential election, as the 11 candidates in the race observed a ban on campaigning.

With voting beginning tomorrow on the French mainland, the government has mobilized more than 50,000 police and gendarmes to protect 70,000 polling stations, with an additional 7,000 soldiers on patrol.

France's 10 percent unemployment and its lackluster economy top voters' concerns as first-round ballots are cast this weekend in the most nail-biting French election in generations.

Opinion polls showed a tight race among the four top contenders vying to get into the May presidential 7 runoff that will decide who becomes France's next head of state.

But the polls also showed that decision was largely in the hands of the one-in-three voters who are still undecided.

0 comments. Leave a comment below.:

Post a Comment

Spam and abuse will not be published. You can use some HTML tags in your comments.

Thank you for reading and commenting.