Attacker kills French policewoman with samurai sword

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A man armed with a Japanese samurai sword killed a policewoman and wounded two other people Friday during an attack on a local government office in central France, police said.

The 33-year-old man was shot in the leg and wounded during the attack, which took place at a local prefect's office in the city of Bourges.

Witnesses said that before the attack the man had been rejected for a gun license at the office. He returned with the 80-centimetre (32-inch) sword and attacked police when they attempted to subdue him.

The 30-year-old policewoman was seriously wounded and died shortly after the attack, the interior ministry said. Another policeman was wounded in the shoulder and a local bureaucrat was also lightly wounded.

A third police officer shot and wounded the attacker, after which he was subdued and taken into custody, witnesses said.

At the scene, Interior Minister Claude Gueant said the attacker had been a teacher "who was not known at all to police but who, according to academic authorities, was showing signs of weakness in his teaching."

"This incident is a reminder that the profession of police officer is a profession of daily public service, an always-dangerous profession that deserves respect," Gueant said.

The French police union, UNSA, denounced the attack and called for "maximum sentences to be systematically applied to cop killers."


© 2011 AFP

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