Paris, May 13: A person was killed and four others were left injured after a man shouting ‘Allah hu Akbar’ attacked them with a knife in the heart of Paris late on Saturday night. The French police later shot dead the man, claimed the authorities. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility via its Amaq news agency but provided no proof for its claim.

The incident took place about 600 yards from the Palais Garnier, the home of the Paris Opera, an area popular with both tourists and Parisians, on a Saturday night when the bars and restaurants there are often full until the early morning hours.

According to eyewitnesses, the knifeman, dressed entirely in black, attacked on people at random crying “Allah hu Akbar”. He was carrying no identity papers, making it harder for police to identify him, said police.

France president, Emmanuel Macron took to a micro-blogging site and said his thoughts were with the victims of the attack and praised the “courage” of police who “neutralized the terrorist”.

“France is paying in blood once again, but it will not give one inch to the enemies of freedom,” another tweet he read. The interior minister, Gérard Collomb, hailed the “sangfroid” and quick response of police who shot the attacker.  “My first thoughts are with the victims of this odious act,” he tweeted.

Citing local media reports, a foreign news website has stated that the attacker, a north-African man in his mid-twenties, shouted ‘Allah hu Akbar’ while carrying out the attack.

The country has been on high alert amid a series of attacks, commissioned or inspired by the Islamic State militant group, which has killed more than 240 people since 2015.