PARIS (Reuters) - French police on Saturday shot dead a man shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is the greatest") who stabbed and wounded three officers in a police station, authorities said.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who rushed to the scene, said the man was killed after he attacked the policemen with a knife in a station in Joue-les-Tours, a suburb of the city of Tours in central France.

Cazeneuve confirmed the attacker had shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the attack, which he said was "extremely violent."

The counter-terrorism section of the Public Prosecutor's office has opened a probe for "attempted murder and criminal conspiracy in connection with a terrorist organization," the Paris Prosecutor's office said.

"There are grounds to probe whether he acted alone, whether he followed orders, or whether it was a mindless action," Public Prosecutor Jean-Luc Beck told BFM-TV.

The man was known to police for common crimes but was not on any watch list of the French intelligence services, Cazeneuve said, adding: "The probe is only starting."

The three wounded officers were hospitalized but were out of danger, he added.