'Allahu Ahkbar': Police shoot knife wielding man at Louvre

Armed police have stormed the world famous Louvre art gallery in Paris this morning after a soldier on duty reportedly opened fire on a knifeman with a suitcase.

Latest reports say the man shouted "Allahu Ahkbar" shortly before he was shot and he is now getting medical attention. 

A heavy police presence is in the French capital and the gallery and nearby shopping centres have all been evacuated.

According to French media, a soldier on duty opened fire after a man tried to enter the Louvre with a suitcase.

Reports are varied, but the man is believed to have been seriously wounded after trying to attack the French soldier with a knife.

The French Interior Ministry has confirmed a serious security incident is currently underway.

Police have also shut the metro station as bomb disposal teams reportedly check the suitcase the man was carrying.

A spokeswoman for Louvre said the museum was "closed for the moment" but would not confirm reports it had been evacuated.

 Police officers cordon off the area next to the Louvre museum in Paris,Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Paris police say a soldier has opened fire outside the Louvre Museum after he was attacked by someone, and the area is being evacuated. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Police officers cordon off the area next to the Louvre museum in Paris,Friday, Feb. 3, 2017. Paris police say a soldier has opened fire outside the Louvre Museum after he was attacked by someone, and the area is being evacuated. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

A witness at the scene said police had cordoned off access to the museum. France has been hit by a series of militant Islamist attacks over the past two years.

Tourists are reportedly sheltering inside the museum.

Last month the head of the world renowned art museum,  Jean-Luc Martinez, blamed terrorism fears for a drastic drop in the number of people visiting it. 

"We finished with a loss of €9.7m, without counting the lower takings at the bookshops and restaurants," Martinez told Le Figaro (via The Guardian).

"Everything is being done to deal with this. The situation is worrying, but I am calm about it."

"We already had a similar drop in 2001 after the September 11 attacks, when the number of visitors dropped by 36 per cent. After that, it took three years for us to recover our previous number of visitors."

News Corp Australia

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