Notre Dame Hammer Attack Investigated as Terror; Officer and Suspect Hurt

PARIS (FOX NEWS) – A man with a hammer bashed a police officer in the head outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris Tuesday, in an attack that investigators called an act of terror.

The wounded officer fired twice at the hammer-wielding man in the square in front of the cathedral, French police told Fox News. The attacker was hospitalized; the specific conditions of both men were unclear.

The French interior minister said the suspect has been threatening several policemen and passersby at the time.

Paris has been under high security after a string of Islamic extremist attacks in recent years.

Paris police initially wrote on Twitter that there is a “number of police” in the area and urged people to avoid the world-famous cathedral as the incident unfolded.

The French U.S. embassy alerted American citizens to “avoid the area and follow advice of authorities” following the incident.

On social media, people reported that they were “trapped” in the cathedral for an incident outside. One person in the cathedral said officers instructed them to “raise their hands.” Later in teh day, they said officers were starting to let them out.

Large numbers of police cars filled the area on the Ile de Cite island in the River Seine in the center of Paris.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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