Hollande condemns 'cowardly terrorism' after police officer and partner murdered
French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday called the killing of a policeman and his partner by a man claiming allegiance to Islamic State a "terrorist act" and warned France still faced a serious threat.
The attack is the first deadly strike in France since the coordinated attacks on Paris by an IS cell in November in which 130 people were killed.
Hollande said the 42-year-old policeman and his partner, who were attacked at their home northwest of Paris overnight, were "murdered in cowardly fashion".
Sources close to the investigation identified the suspect, who was killed in a police raid, as Larossi Abballa and said he was convicted in 2013 over his role in a group with links to Pakistan.
"It's unquestionably a terrorist act," Hollande said, stressing that France, which is currently hosting the Euro 2016 football championships was still "facing a very significant terrorist threat".
The sources later confirmed that the 25-year-old attacker was also part of a more recent investigation into a network recruiting militants for the fight in Syria.
During failed negotiations with police that ended with elite RAID officers storming the house, the attacker claimed he was also acting on behalf of IS.
He repeatedly stabbed the policeman and then killed his partner, who was found with knife wounds to her neck.
The couple's three-year-old son was found after the police operation, "in shock but unharmed", a prosecutor added.
Witnesses told investigators the man may have shouted "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) as he stabbed the policeman repeatedly outside his home before holing up inside with the woman and the couple's three-year-old son.
Loud detonations were heard at the scene as elite RAID police moved in following failed negotiations with the attacker, who claimed allegiance to IS while talking to officers, sources close to the inquiry told AFP.
A news agency linked to IS said the attack had been carried out by an "Islamic State fighter", a day after posting a similar claim following the massacre at a gay club in Orlando, Florida.
Two people were taken into custody Tuesday as part of the inquiry into the murders, French police said.