Knifeman arrested at Eiffel Tower `wanted to kill soldier`

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French prosecutors opened on Sunday counter-terrorism investigations into an incident in which a man armed with a knife was arrested and detained while trying to force entry into a security barrage at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Sources told RFI that the unidentified man shouted "Allahu Akbar" - "God is great" in Arabic - during the incident.

The man, who was apparently alone, was "very quickly overpowered and arrested" and nobody was hurt, a statement from the company that runs the monument said.

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After pushing his way past a security guard at the entrance to the Eiffel Tower, the man approached soldiers patrolling at the site and, holding a blade, the source said. The Eiffel Tower reopened as normal at 9 a.m. Sunday.

France has remained in a state of emergency since the execution of several attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015 in the capital of the country, which left more than 130 dead.

According to Reuters, the suspect told police he wanted to attack a soldier and that he'd been communicating with the Islamic State, who encouraged him to go ahead with the attack.

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The official said the claim prompted investigators to upgrade the seriousness of the alleged offense, which originally they classified as a common crime by someone with a history of psychiatric problems.

The suspect was born in Mauritania in 1998, but has French citizenship, the official said.

The Eiffel Tower was lit up on Saturday night in the colors of the Paris-Saint Germain soccer club and with lights welcoming star Brazilian striker Neymar to the team.

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