French police have said this morning's attack was "probably a terrorist act", and if so it would be at least the sixth terror strike on Paris in three years.

Most recently, on March 18, a convicted criminal with links to radical Islam shouted "I am here to die for Allah, there will be deaths" seconds before he was shot dead during an attack at Orly airport, according to Daily Mail.

A riot police officer patrols inside Orly airport, south of Paris. Photo / AP
A riot police officer patrols inside Orly airport, south of Paris. Photo / AP

And a month earlier, on February 3, a man was shot five times outside the Louvre museum in the heart of Paris after attempting to storm the historic art gallery.

Last year, on June 13, two police officers were murdered in their home just outside Paris in front of their 8-year-old son in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

Advertisement

By far the most deadly strike came on November 13, 2015, when ISIS militants killed 130 people in France's worst atrocity since World War II.

A series of suicide bomb and shooting attacks were launched on crowded sites in central Paris, as well as the northern suburb of Saint-Denis.

The majority of those killed were in the Bataclan concert hall where hostages were taken.

Islamic State extremists claimed responsibility and said it was in retaliation for French participation in airstrikes on the militant group's positions in Syria and Iraq.

An investigating police officer, left, arrives outside the Stade de France stadium. Photo / AP
An investigating police officer, left, arrives outside the Stade de France stadium. Photo / AP

It led to the declaration of a state of emergency in France with police powers greatly expanded.

And on January 7, two brothers killed 11 people inside the Paris building housing the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in revenge for the publication of cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammed.

More were killed subsequently in attacks on a kosher market in eastern Paris and on police. There were 17 victims in all, including two police officers. The attackers were killed.

The shooting on March 20 comes just two days after the arrest of two men found with a cache of weapons and explosives in Marseilles.

They were suspected of preparing an attack to disrupt the first round of the presidential election on Sunday.