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One man – a German tourist born in the Philippines – had been killed in the attack and two others sustained non-life threatening injuries, he added.
One of the police officers responding to the scene used a Taser to neutralise the attacker.
The suspect’s life is not at risk.
“After his arrest, he said he could no longer bear to see Muslims dying in both Afghanistan and Palestine,” Darmanin said.
Darmanin said he was told by police that the attacker had reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the assault.
Videos taken at the scene showed police cars, ambulances and the Paris Fire Brigade arriving, with heavy traffic being diverted away.
Numerous cordons were also set up.
Members of the public have been advised to avoid the area.
The suspect was a French citizen born in France in 1997 and had served prison time in the past for planning “violent action.”
Darmanin did not provide further details but he said that the assailant was known to have serious mental problems by intelligence services.