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French police kill man trying to burn down synagogue

Police forces patrol near the landmark, the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015.
Police forces patrol near the landmark, the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015. Copyright Frank Augstein/AP
Copyright Frank Augstein/AP
By Euronews
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"The man was armed with a knife and an iron bar," said a source close to the case.

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A man allegedly trying to set fire to a synagogue in northern France was shot and killed by police on Friday, according to French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin. 

Officers in Rouen "responded to a report of smoke near the synagogue," a police source said.

"The man was armed with a knife and an iron bar, he approached the police officers who fired," said a source close to the case. 

He died at the scene, they added. 

"In Rouen, national police officers neutralised an armed individual early this morning who was clearly intent on setting fire to the town's synagogue," wrote Darmanin on X. 

"I congratulate them on their responsiveness and courage." 

Police officers used their weapon five times before the attacker fell to the ground, France 3 Normandie reported.

Rouen Mayor Nicolas Mayer-Rossignaol said the attack on the synagogue did not just affect the Jewish community, but the entire city.

“Through this attack and this attempted fire on the Rouen synagogue, it is not only the Jewish community that is affected. The entire city of Rouen is bruised and in shock,” he said. 

Against the backdrop of Israel's ground offensive in Gaza and rising tensions in the Middle East, France has raised its terror alert to the highest level. 

Antisemitic acts have surged in the country, which has the largest Jewish and Muslim populations in western Europe.

Rouen has been shaken by violence in recent days. 

Gunman on Tuesday killed two officers in an ambush on a prison van, freeing prisoner Mohamed Amra who remains at large.

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