File picture: Pixabay

Paris - French police on Sunday shot and wounded a man who had rushed towards a group of policemen with a knife shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest) in the eastern city of Metz, local officials said.

The incident at Metz came just two days after a man went on a knife rampage in the suburb of Villejuif just outside Paris on Jan. 3, killing one person and wounding two. The Villejuif attacker was subsequently shot dead by police.

The Metz local public prosecutor's office said it was in contact with the French anti-terrorism prosecutor's department over the incident, while French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner added he was monitoring the situation closely.

"I praise the quick thinking of the @PoliceNat57 (Moselle police force), which intervened to apprehend the individual. A probe is underway to determine the precise motivation and circumstances behind the act," Castaner wrote on Twitter.

The Metz local prosecutor's office said the suspect suffered gunshot wounds to the thigh. He was then taken away.

It added that the suspect, whom it did not name, was on an official list of those monitored for links to militant groups.

Paris has suffered major attacks by Islamist militants in recent years.

Co-ordinated bombings and shootings in November 2015 at the Bataclan theatre and other sites around Paris killed 130 people - the deadliest attacks in France since World War Two. 

Reuters