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Condition of suspect in Louvre attack worsens, charges sought

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    Armed police officers patrol in the courtyard of the Louvre museum near where a soldier opened fire after he was attacked in Paris on Friday.

PARIS >> The health of an Egyptian man suspected of charging soldiers at the Louvre museum with a machete has taken a turn for the worse, French authorities said Tuesday.

The suspect has been hospitalized in Paris since he was shot four times by soldiers Friday after slightly injuring one in an underground mall that is part of the Paris museum complex. He allegedly shouted “Allahu akbar!” while rushing toward the soldiers.

Identified as Abdullah al-Hamahmy, he was put under supervised custody at the European Hospital Georges-Pompidou on Saturday after his condition improved. But the Paris prosecutor’s office said Tuesday night that the custody was “lifted” after his condition “sharply deteriorated during the day.” His current condition was “incompatible” with keeping him in custody, it said.

After remaining silent during his first two questionings, the suspect had started to answer investigators’ questions Monday. He confirmed his name as Abdullah al-Hamahmy and identified himself as a 29 year-old Egyptian citizen, the prosecutor’s office said.

During Monday’s questioning, the suspect gave “his first version of the facts,” the office added, but gave no details.

Soon after the attack, Egyptian officials identified the suspect with his full name, Abdullah Reda Refaie al-Hamahmy, but said he was 28.

With its custody ended Tuesday night, the prosecutor’s office said the case is no longer under its supervision and has shifted to the authority of counter-terrorism investigating magistrates.

The office said it would ask the investigating judges to file preliminary terrorist charges against al-Hamahmy once his condition has improved enough. It said it was seeking charges of “attempted terrorist murders” and “terrorist criminal conspiracy.”

The Louvre was closed after the attack Friday morning, but was reopened over the weekend.

The suspect’s father, Reda Refaie al-Hamahmy, said his son has lived in Dubai the past five years and was employed by a law firm.

Egyptian officials have said local security agencies were gathering information on al-Hamahmy to help establish if he was a member of any militant groups or had been radicalized. Egyptian Investigators were examining his social media accounts. The information gathered will be shared with French authorities, they have said.

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