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fatal stabbing Four held amid probe into deadly French police station attack

The attacker’s father was among several people detained after the fatal stabbing outside Paris.

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Police officer blocks the access next to the Police station in Rambouillet (AP)

Police officer blocks the access next to the Police station in Rambouillet (AP)

Police officer blocks the access next to the Police station in Rambouillet (AP)

French authorities have detained a fourth person as anti-terrorism investigators question three others after a police official was fatally stabbed at a police station outside Paris.

French police killed the Tunisian suspect on Friday after the killing of an unarmed administrative employee at the entrance of her police station in the town of Rambouillet.

The suspect’s father is among the four people currently held, a judicial official said.

A couple who had housed the suspect at one point and a member of his entourage, who was detained on Saturday, are also being questioned.

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Police near the scene of a stabbing at a police station in Rambouillet, south-west of Paris (Clement Lanot via AP)

Police near the scene of a stabbing at a police station in Rambouillet, south-west of Paris (Clement Lanot via AP)

Police near the scene of a stabbing at a police station in Rambouillet, south-west of Paris (Clement Lanot via AP)

The victim, a National Police employee, had left the station to extend her time on a parking meter and was followed into the entry area by the attacker, who was shot dead by a police officer.

The attack jolted the French government into taking a deeper look at new steps needed to protect police officers.

Interior minister Gerald Darmanin is to present a bill shortly giving new teeth to an anti-terrorism law, national intelligence coordinator Laurent Nunez said on BMFTV.

Mr Darmanin said: “(Police) know we have a difficult fight against Islamist terrorism … the fight won’t stop tomorrow or the next day.”

French president Emmanuel Macron visited the family of the victim, a 49-year-old identified only as Stephanie.

She lived in Thoiry, about 19 miles north of Rambouillet. The president’s office said he wanted “to show support and solidarity with the family” who were “very upset and very dignified”.

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People hand flowers to police officers to be taken to the police station where a police official was stabbed death (AP)

People hand flowers to police officers to be taken to the police station where a police official was stabbed death (AP)

People hand flowers to police officers to be taken to the police station where a police official was stabbed death (AP)

A steady stream of people bearing flowers handed the bouquets to police officers in Rambouillet who were guarding the blocked-off street where the station sits.

The attacker entered France illegally in 2009 and was given residency papers in 2020, a judicial official said.

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The attacker had staked out the police station ahead of time, anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-France Ricard said.

This preparation, along with statements he made during the attack and the targeting of a police official, prompted the national anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office to take over the investigation.

The 37-year-old suspect, identified by French officials as Djamel G, had no criminal record or record of radicalisation, French media reported.

But witnesses heard him say “Allahu akbar” – Arabic for “God is great” – during the attack, according to an official.

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The attacker was shot dead at the scene (AP)

The attacker was shot dead at the scene (AP)

The attacker was shot dead at the scene (AP)

Infrequent Facebook and Instagram posts from accounts thought to have belonged to the suspected attacker, who spells his name Jamel, hinted at a man who waffled over the years about his allegiances but had with no overt ties to an extremist ideology.

The US-based SITE Intelligence Group uncovered the accounts, in which he described himself as a Tunisian from Msaken, near the eastern coastal town of Sousse.

Jamel G’s last post on April 18 is a prayer for a blessed Ramadan, the Muslim holy month now in progress.

The French government has been emphasising security, mindful of the presidential election next year.

Mr Macron has vowed to put more officers in the streets and the interior minister says 10,000 will be added by next year.

Mr Darmanin has made a point of defending police amid claims of brutality amid the Black Lives Matter movement and the growing popularity of far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

In other previous attacks, three French police officers and an administrative employee were killed by a colleague in 2019 inside Paris police headquarters.

A police couple was also murdered in 2016 in their home in the same region as Rambouillet.

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