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Police Name Slain Paris Terrorist Suspect 'Born In Chechnya'


A bullet hole is shown on the window of a cafe located at the crossroads between the streets Saint-Augustin and Monsigny, where a man with a knife killed one man and wounded four other people.

French authorities have identified the slain suspect in a deadly Paris knife attack as Khamzat Azimov, a naturalized French citizen who was born in Russia's Chechnya region in 1997.

Government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said on May 13 that Azimov attained French citizenship in 2010 "following his mother."

Griveaux also said Azimov had been registered in a Paris police database in 2016 as a person "with propensity for radical actions."

Azimov, who reportedly moved to Strasbourg with his parents after arriving from Chechnya, was shot dead by police after killing a 29-year-old man and injuring four others on May 12 in a neighborhood near the Opera Garnier.

Strasbourg, in eastern France, is home to a large community of refugees from the Muslim Russian republic of Chechnya, where Moscow waged two wars against separatists following the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Both his father and mother were taken into custody on May 13 for questioning as part of a terrorism investigation into the attack.

A friend of the suspected attacker was also arrested for questioning, a judicial source said.

The man, arrested in Strasbourg, was born in 1997, the same year as Azimov.

Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb was holding a special security meeting on May 13 to address the attack.

The Islamic State (IS) militant group on May 12 claimed through its Amaq news agency that the suspect was one of its "soldiers."

The extremist group released a video on May 13 of a young man it claims was the attacker pledging allegiance to IS.

Amaq posted the video online using Telegram, featuring a young man wearing a hood with only his eyes exposed as the lower part of his face is covered by a black cloth.

Speaking in French, the man vows allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

It is not clear if the man in the video was indeed the attacker. He doesn't identify himself by name.

Police initially said two of the injured were "seriously wounded," while the other two were "slightly" hurt. Hospital officials said on May 13 that none of the wounded victims' injuries were life threatening.

China's Xinhua news agency reported that a Chinese citizen was among the injured, citing the Chinese Embassy in Paris.

After the attack, French President Emmanuel Macron said that “France once again pays the price of blood” and that the country would not cede to "enemies of freedom."

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said counterterrorism authorities were investing the attack, adding that witnesses had reported the suspect shouted "Allahu Akbar" or "God is Greatest" in Arabic.

French cities have been targeted in recent years by a series of terror-related attacks -- from mass-killings to smaller, but deadly attacks.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, dpa, and the BBC
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