Man brandishing knife arrested at Eiffel Tower

Man brandishing knife arrested at Eiffel Tower

Update 12.20pm: A young French man who was recently discharged from a psychiatric hospital is under investigation for glorifying terrorism after he brandished a knife and tried to breach security at the Eiffel Tower.

No one was hurt in the incident late on Saturday although the tower was briefly evacuated. The tower reopened as usual on Sunday morning.

A judicial official said the man tried to force his way into the secure zone, held out a knife and said "Allahu akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great".

He was quickly surrounded by security forces and surrendered, the official said. A Paris police official said no shots were fired.

While the man is accused of glorifying terrorism, the incident is being investigated as a common crime and not by anti-terrorism investigators, the judicial official said, because of his history of psychiatric problems and because authorities have no reason to believe he was part of a network or planning an attack.

The suspect was born in Mauritania in 1998 but has French citizenship, the official said.

Earlier:

Police in Paris have arrested a man brandishing a knife who tried to breach security at the Eiffel Tower.

The monument was briefly evacuated but no one was hurt in the incident, which occurred shortly before closing time on Saturday night. The tower reopened as usual on Sunday morning.

Paris police said the man tried to force his way past security forces to go beneath the tower but was quickly subdued. His identity was not released and his motives are unclear.

Monuments in the French capital have occasionally been evacuated for security reasons, as the country remains on alert after deadly attacks since 2015.

- AP

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