PARIS — An apparent knife attack inside the Paris police headquarters has left several police officers dead.
Police trade union official Loic Travers told reporters on Thursday that the attacker, who was a civilian police official, killed four officers in the building, which is across a square from Notre Dame Cathedral.
There was no official confirmation of the incident or of the toll from police or the government.
The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, wrote on Twitter that several police officers had lost their lives.
“Paris weeps for its own this afternoon after the horrific attack at the Police Prefecture,” Hidalgo wrote.
The area around the huge headquarters building on the central Ile de la Cite island was sealed off.
French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting Paris police headquarters after the attack, a source in his office said.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner are also present, the source said.
According to Travers, the attacker, who was shot dead, was a civilian police official. The victims were apparently police officers.
The attacker, who according to BFMTV television used a ceramic knife, started his attack in his own office and then moved elsewhere in the building, Travers said.
The attack started about 1:00 pm (1100 GMT), BFMTV reported.
It comes a day after thousands of police marched through Paris in protest at working conditions, long hours, suicides in the ranks, and proposed pension reforms.
Police have also been repeatedly targeted in attacks by Islamist extremists.
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