THE suspect in a deadly knife attack in central Paris on Saturday evening is a French citizen born in 1997 in Russia’s republic of Chechnya, according to reports.

Named by media as Khamzat Asimov, he was on a French watch list of people who could pose a threat to national security, French authorities said.

Police shot dead the attacker in the busy Opéra district after stabbing a 29-year-old man to death and injuring four others in a lively neighbourhood near the Opera Garnier on Saturday night.

The man had been categorised as “fiche S”, the reports say.

This flags people considered to be a possible threat to national security and allows for surveillance without being a cause for arrest.

In 2015, then Prime Minister Manuel Valls said there were 20,000 names on the list, about half related to Islamist radicalisation.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted (in French): “France has once again paid in blood, but will not give an inch to the enemies of freedom.”

More than 230 people in France have been killed by jihadists in the past three years. French interior minister Gerard Collomb is holding a special security meeting on Sunday to address the attack.

Daesh’s Aamaq news agency said the assailant carried out the attack in response to the group’s calls for supporters to target members of the US-led military coalition in Iraq and Syria.