Paris – A known terror suspect shot dead a French policeman and wounded two others on Paris’s Champs Elysees in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group, days before a presidential election. Observers had long feared bloodshed ahead of Sunday’s vote in France following a string of atrocities since 2015 and the violence is likely to thrust security to the front of voters’ minds. Here is a recap of major assaults and foiled attempts since the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January 2015.
– 2015 –
– January 7-9: Two men armed with Kalashnikov rifles storm the Paris offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo killing 12 people.A policewoman is killed just outside Paris the following day, while a gunman takes hostages at a Jewish supermarket, four of whom are killed.
– February 3: A knife-wielding man attacks three soldiers guarding a Jewish community centre in Nice on the French Riviera.
– April 19: Sid Ahmed Ghlam, an Algerian IT student, is arrested on suspicion of killing a woman who was found shot dead in her car, and of planning an attack on a church in the Paris suburb of Villejuif.
– June 26: Frenchman Yassin Salhi, 35, kills and beheads his boss Herve Cornara and displays the severed head, surrounded by two Islamic flags, on the fence of a gas plant in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier in southeastern France.
– July 13: Four men aged 16 to 23, including a former soldier, are arrested on charges of planning an attack on a military camp to behead an officer in the name of jihad. They proclaim allegiance to IS.
– August 21: Passengers prevent a bloodbath on a high-speed Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris, tackling a man who opened fire on travellers. He was armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, an automatic pistol and a box-cutter. The gunman is identified as 25-year-old Moroccan national Ayoub El Khazzani, known to intelligence services for links to radical Islam.
– November 13: IS jihadists armed with assault rifles and explosives strike outside a France-Germany football match at the national stadium, Paris cafes, and the Bataclan concert hall in a coordinated assault that leaves 130 people dead and more than 350 wounded, the deadliest attack of its kind in French history.
– 2016 –
– January 7: A man wielding a meat cleaver and carrying an IS emblem is shot dead as he tries to attack a police station in Paris.
– June 13: Larossi Abballa, 25, kills police officer Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, and his partner, Jessica Schneider, 36, at their home in Magnanville, west of Paris.
– July 14: A truck ploughs through a crowd on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais after a Bastille Day fireworks display, killing 84 people and injuring over 330.
– July 26: Attackers slit the throat of a priest in a hostage-taking at his church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.
– 2017 –
– February 3: A man armed with a machete in each hand attacks four soldiers on patrol at Paris’s Louvre Museum, shouting “Allah Akbar”. The attacker, a 29-year-old Egyptian, was seriously injured.
– March 18: A 39-year-old man is killed at Paris’s Orly airport after attacking a soldier. The attacker shouted: “I am ready to die for Allah,” according to the Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins.
– April 19: Police arrest two Frenchmen in their twenties in Marseille on suspicion of planning an attack, with bomb-making materials and guns found in searches.
– April 21: A known terror suspect shoots dead a French policeman and wounds two others on the Champs Elysees, before being killed in return fire, in an assault claimed by the Islamic State group.