Four police staff have been killed by a coworker in a knife attack at police headquarters in the centre of Paris.

The attacker is reported to have entered his office building located on the île de la Cité at about 13:00 local time (11:00 GMT) and immediately began attacking colleagues with a knife. He stabbed three people in two offices and two further people in the stairway before being shot dead by armed police.

Police union officials have suggested the attack may have been the result of a workplace dispute and a “moment of madness”, but no official statement has been given on possible motivations.

Paris prosecutor, Remy Heitz, told reporters that three men and one woman were killed in the attack, all of whom were police officers or police administrative staff.

The interior minister said the attacker was a 45-year-old IT specialist who had spent the last 16 years working with the Paris police force, most recently with the intelligence division.

The attack comes 24 hours after a nationwide police strike in France, where police officers demonstrated over working hours, pension reforms, and increasing violence towards officers.

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