France is reeling today after Normandy police shot dead a man suspected of attempting to burn down a synagogue in the north-western city of Rouen.

After travelling to Rouen to inspect the fire-damaged synagogue, Paris’s Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, insisted his country is “determined to continue protecting all the Jews of France, wherever they are, who must practice their religion without fear”.

French police arrived at the scene early this morning after smoke was seen rising from the building in the historic city centre. The suspect is thought to have climbed onto a large waste bin and thrown a petrol bomb into the synagogue. He was still on the roof of the building when police arrived. According to prosecutors. he then jumped to the ground and ran at one of the officers with his knife raised, at which point they shot him dead.