"The police have just courageously arrested an assailant attacking passersby in Paris, around the Quai de Grenelle. One deceased person and one injured person treated by the Paris fire brigade. Please avoid the area," the minister posted on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

AFP, citing a source, said the suspect had shouted out "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) but Reuters could not confirm that.

The antiterrorism prosecutor's office said it had not yet been put in charge of an investigation.

"The assailant was neutralised very quickly by police. We tried to save the life of this man. It's a man who died and they (the people who were attacked) were tourists," Dr Patrick Pelloux told BFM TV.

BFM, citing police, said the man who died was of German nationality and that the assailant's weapon was a hammer.

Saturday night's incident in central Paris occurred less than eight months before the French capital hosts the Olympic Games and could raise questions about security at the global sporting event.

Paris plans an unprecedented opening ceremony on the Seine river that may draw as many as 600,000 spectators.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Gilles Guillaume in ParisEditing by Nick Zieminski and Matthew Lewis)