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IS-Linked Man Kills French Police Couple

Two French police officials have been killed in an attack by a knife-wielding man claiming allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

A police commander and his partner, also a police official, were stabbed to death at their home in the distant Paris suburb of Magnanville late on June 13.

Their 3-year-old son was rescued from the scene, while the attacker was killed in a police assault on the house.

Authorities said the attacker, identified as 25-year-old Larossi Abballa, claimed while he spoke with police forces to be responding to a call for attacks sent out by IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

A news agency linked to the IS militants said an IS "fighter" had carried out the attack.

Reports said the man had been under recent police surveillance and had previously spent time in jail over links to jihadist groups.

"The toll is a heavy one," the interior minister's spokesman, Pierre-Henry Brandet, told reporters at the scene, his voice shaking with emotion. "Thankfully, a little boy was saved. He was in the house. He's safe and sound. He was saved by police officers."

France, like other countries in Europe, has seen a wave of militant violence -- often stabbings -- aimed at police officers or soldiers.

Police said the attacker was carrying a "hit list" of VIPs and urged followers to turn the Euro 2016 soccer tournament into a "graveyard."

French President Francois Hollande and his U.S. counterpart, Barack Obama, spoke by phone about the threat posed by IS sympathizers on June 14.

The United States was hit with its worst mass shooting in history on June 12 when an IS-inspired gunman shot and killed 49 patrons at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa