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French police downplay terrorism fears after stabbing leaves 1 dead

Eyewitnesses had initially reported a man wearing a mock explosive vest went on the rampage at a shopping centre in a Paris suburb.

Picture: Pixabay.com

LONDON - Police in France are playing down fears after a stabbing attack which left one dead and four injured may have been a terrorist incident.

Eyewitnesses had initially reported a man wearing a mock explosive vest went on the rampage at a shopping centre in a Paris suburb.

Witnesses say the attacker was lashing out with a knife at passers-by.

The victim who died at the scene is reported to be a 56-year-old who was stabbed as he tried to protect his wife.

The others who were injured were taken to a Paris hospital while armed officers rushed to the scene.

The attacker, identified by the authorities as a 22-year-old with a history of mental health illness, was spotted two kilometres away and shot dead by police.

Prosecutors say some religious items were found in his possession but are playing down speculation he was a radicalised Muslim extremist.

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