A police officer in France was stabbed to death inside her police station near the famed historic Rambouillet chateau, where her attacker was shot and killed by officers at the scene.

French police officials block off a street near a police station in Rambouillet, southwest of Paris, on April 23, 2021, after a woman was stabbed to death in the town.
French police officials block off a street near a police station in Rambouillet, southwest of Paris, on April 23, 2021, after a woman was stabbed to death in the town. (AFP)

A female police employee has been stabbed to death by a Tunisian man at a police station southwest of Paris, the local prosecutor's office and a police source said.

The attacker was fatally wounded when an officer opened fire on him at the station in Rambouillet, a wealthy commuter town about 60 km from Paris, a police source said on condition of anonymity.

The attack took place in the secure entrance area of the station at around 2:20 pm (1220 GMT), the police source added.

Terror investigation

The French anti-terror police said it had opened an investigation into the deadly stabbing.

Prime Minister Jean Castex and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin both announced they were heading to the scene.

The assailant was aged 36 and was unknown to security services, sources close to the investigation said.

France has faced a series of attacks in recent years that have cost the lives of hundreds of people.

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Past attacks

In September, a Pakistani man wounded two people with a meat cleaver outside the former offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had printed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

On October 16, a young Chechen refugee beheaded teacher Samuel Paty, who had shown some of the caricatures to his pupils.

And on October 29, three people were killed when a recently arrived Tunisian went on a stabbing spree in a church in the Mediterranean city of Nice.

In France's deadliest peacetime atrocity, 130 people were killed and 350 were wounded when suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Stade de France stadium, bars and restaurants in central Paris and the Bataclan concert hall in November 2015.

And in 2016 a man rammed a truck into a Bastille Day crowd in Nice in 2016, killing 86 people.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies