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Paris police shoot dead knife-wielding man on 'Charlie Hebdo' anniversary

The incident took place on the anniversary of the Islamist militant attacks on the 'Charlie Hebdo' magazine.

Rescue workers are seen at the Boulevard de Barbes in the north of Paris on January 7, 2016, after police shot a man dead as he was trying to enter a police station in the Rue de la Goutte d'Or. The man shot dead by police on the first anniversary of the jihadist assault on Charlie Hebdo had a knife and what appeared to be an explosives vest, the government said. Picture:AFP.

PARIS - Police in Paris on Thursday shot dead a knife-wielding man who tried to enter a police station, police union sources said.

One of the sources said the man appeared to be wearing a belt of some sort, but could not say whether it was an explosive one.

The suspect reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great), interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henri Brandet said on BFMTV.

The police's bomb disposal unit has been called to the scene as there are reports the man was wearing an explosive vest.

A section of Paris is on lock down as police in the French capital continue to comb the scene.

The incident happened a few hours after French president Francois Hollande spoke at an event to commemorate the anniversary of the attacks on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were killed.

Islamic State, the militant group that controls swathes of Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the 13 November attacks. Several of the militants involved in those attacks were, like last January's killers, French-born.

Police are in the process of bringing in a mining machine, which is an explosive robot, to look over what the man was carrying.

There is suspicion that he either had a suicide bomb on him, or some kind of explosive device.

WIRES PROTRUDING

"According to our colleagues, he wanted to blow himself up," an official at the Alternative Police union said.

"He shouted Allahu Akbar and had wires protruding from his clothes. That's why the police officer opened fire."

Officials said bomb disposal experts were on site.

Journalist Anna Polonyi, who could see the outside of the police station from the window of her flat, posted photos on social media that showed what appeared to be a bomb-disposal robot beside the body.

She told Reuters that her sister, in the flat with her, had seen the incident happen. She said the police shouted at the man and that he then started running towards them before they shot him.

Last year's attacks have boosted the popularity of the far-right National Front party ahead of a presidential election due in 2017.

In his speech, Hollande promised to better equip police to prevent further militant attacks.

The president also defended draconian security measures implemented since November that his Socialist government had once shunned.

"Terrorism has not stopped posing a threat to our country," Hollande said, repeating a promise to boost police recruitment and resources.

Since the November attacks, Paris has increased its efforts at striking jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, becoming the second largest contributor to the US-led coalition against Islamic State.

Security measures at home have included a three-month state of emergency during which the police have launched hundreds of raids on homes, mosques, restaurants and hotels.

Additional reporting by Reuters