Man kills mum, sister in Paris attack
A MAN with severe psychiatric problems killed his mother and sister and seriously injured another woman in a knife attack on Thursday in a Paris-region town, officials said.
Police shot and killed the man soon afterwards.
French reports said the man was aged in his 30s and has been known to authorities since 2016.
British media are reporting the man was heard shouting in Arabic "Allah Akbar'' (God is the greatest) but this has not been confirmed by authorities.
The man went on the stabbing spree on a quiet neighbourhood the street before disappearing inside a house. He was shot dead after he emerged from the house.
The Islamic State group, which has a history of opportunistic claims, swiftly claimed responsibility. French prosecutors weren't treating the attack in Trappes, west of Paris, as a terrorism case, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said.
Mr Collomb told reporters in Trappes that "the attacker had serious psychiatric problems" and that he "was known for being a terror apologist."
"He was someone who was unstable rather than committed to terrorism and who might respond to a call from ISIS," he said.
The attacker was reportedly on the File for the Prevention of Terrorist Radicalisation, a targeted watch list which focuses on would-be jihadists.
Mr Collomb said that the man killed his mother at her home and stabbed the other women outside. Still wielding the knife, he then ignored police warnings and was shot and killed, the minister said after meeting officers and prosecutors in Trappes.
A long-time friend of the attacker named him as Kamel Salhi, 36. The friend, Said Segreg, said Salhi had no obvious problems, didn't abuse drugs or alcohol and wasn't fervently religious.
A government official confirmed Salhi's name and age. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorised to discuss such details publicly.
Salhi was reportedly divorced and living with his mother, said Adama Traore, another of his acquaintances in Trappes.
Islamic State earlier claimed one if its members had carried out the assault, but provided no evidence.
An online statement from the group's AMAQ news agency said the attacker was an "Islamic State fighter".
Mr Collomb tweeted earlier that: "The individual has been neutralised.
"My first thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones,'' he said.
"I want to salute the actions and the exemplary mobilisation of our police forces.
"They are already investigating to establish the circumstances of this tragedy."
Police confirmed an incident was underway in Trappes, an underprivileged town swallowed up by the sprawl of Parisian suburbs, and that a security perimeter was in place. They urged people to avoid the area.
France has faced significant threats from terrorists, and 130 people were killed in attacks on cafes and the Bataclan Theatre in Paris in November 2015.
A man killed 86 people when he drove a truck through Bastille Day crowds in Nice in southern France in July 2016.
Three people and a brave policeman who exchanged himself for a hostage died when an Islamic State gunman attacked a supermarket in Carcassonne, southern France, in March this year.