A knife-wielding attacker stabbed a senior police officer to death Monday outside his home in a distant suburb of Paris, officials said. The attacker and a female companion of the police commander were later found dead after police commandos stormed the home and rescued the couple’s 3-year-old son.
The Islamic State’s Amaq news agency cited an unnamed “source” as saying an Islamic State fighter carried out the attack, but the extremist group had not officially asserted responsibility for the attack.
The police commander was stabbed to death outside his home in Magnanville, about 35 miles west of Paris, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told reporters at the scene. The attacker then retreated indoors, and elite police commandos laid siege to the residence, eventually storming it after a roughly three-hour standoff. The woman and the attacker were found dead; the 3-year-old was found safe.
French prosecutor Vincent Lesclous, who said he knew the slain police commander, said the assailant’s identity was unknown.
Although officials said the attacker was killed by police when they stormed the residence, it was unclear how the woman, also a police worker, was killed.
French President François Hollande condemned the attack as an “odious act.”
— Associated Press
Ethiopia and Eritrea traded accusations over an incident in a disputed border area, with Ethiopia on Monday confirming that its military had taken “proportional measures” against Eritrea in response to an attempted attack in the Tsorona area the day before.
In a statement late Sunday, Eritrea’s Information Ministry accused Ethiopian troops of attacks against Eritrean positions in the Tsorona Central Front.
The two countries have been in a stalemate since the end in 2000 of a border war in which tens of thousands were killed. The countries do not have diplomatic relations and have accused each other of training and deploying banned armed groups.
Charlotte King, an analyst with the Economist Intelligence Unit, said accusations of direct attacks by the two nations are rare.
“It is also unusual for the Eritrean government to comment on violent outbreaks,” she said, adding that Eritrea may be trying to divert attention from a U.N. report last week that accused the government of widespread crimes against humanity.
— Associated Press
Oscar Pistorius is a “broken” man whose mental state has deteriorated and who should be hospitalized, not jailed, a psychologist called by his defense testified Monday at the start of a new sentencing hearing in Pretoria, South Africa.
Prosecutors are seeking a long prison term for the double-amputee Olympic runner after his conviction in the killing of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was changed to murder.
Pistorius is living under house arrest after initially serving one year of a five-year prison sentence for manslaughter for shooting Steenkamp in 2013. That manslaughter conviction was overturned last year by the Supreme Court, which convicted Pistorius of the more-serious charge of murder.
His new sentencing hearing is scheduled to run through Friday.
South Africa has a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison for murder, although a judge can reduce that in some circumstances.
Clinical psychologist Jonathan Scholtz said Pistorius was “quite ill” and struggled with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Scholtz evaluated Pistorius in 2014, during his murder trial, and again last month.
Prosecutors had depicted Pistorius as an arrogant figure with a sense of entitlement and a love of guns. Steenkamp was shot multiple times through a toilet door. Pistorius has said that he had mistaken her for an intruder.
— Associated Press
A suspected U.S. drone killed three alleged al-Qaeda fighters in an airstrike in Yemen’s central province of Shabwa, Yemeni security officials said Monday.
The officials said the overnight attack hit the men’s vehicle as they were traveling near the town of Haban.
The officials also said that in the onetime al-Qaeda stronghold of Mukalla, on the southern coast, troops from the United Arab Emirates and others in a Saudi-led coalition primarily fighting Yemen’s anti-government Shiite rebels conducted raids on homes seeking al-Qaeda operatives.
They said about 150 suspects were detained.
Also Monday, the UAE said a pilot and co-pilot were killed in a military helicopter crash, after a similar crash the day before also killed two Emirati pilots. The statement said the two UAE pilots had been taking part in the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.
— Associated Press
5 Kurdish separatists reportedly killed in Iran: A firefight between Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard Corps and Kurdish militants in western Iran killed five militants, state TV reported. They were members of the Iranian wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in Turkey. Separately, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported a clash in Sistan-Baluchistan province near the border with Pakistan, saying security forces killed five members of the Jaish al-Adl terrorist group.
Bahrain detains prominent activist: Bahraini police detained prominent activist Nabeel Rajab in a raid on his home, rights groups and his family said, part of a wide crackdown on dissent more than five years after the Arab Spring. Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, had helped lead protests in 2011 as the island’s majority-Shiite population and others demanded more political freedoms from its Sunni rulers. Bahrain crushed the protests.
— From news services