On Tuesday, a man attacked a police officer by hitting him in the head with a hammer outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Investigators are treating this attack as an act of terror.
The French interior minister said the man had been threatening other officers nearby, as well as multiple civilians in the area.
Paris police initially wrote on Twitter that there is a “number of police” in the area and urged peopled to avoid the famed monument as the incident unfolded.
“Security Message: ongoing security incident at Notre Dame Cathedral – U.S. citizens should avoid the area & follow advice of authorities”
The French U.S. embassy alerted American citizens to “avoid the area and follow advice of authorities” following the incident.
Officers cleared the area near Notre Dame Cathedral soon after the incident. On social media, people reported that they were “trapped” in the cathedral for an incident outside. One person in the cathedral said officers instructed them to “raise their hands.”
Large numbers of police cars filled the area on the Ile de Cite island in the River Seine in the center of Paris. The city is under high security after multiple of Islamic extremist attacks in recent years.