World News

Paris officers shot, 1 fatally, in Champs-Elysees attack

Paris officers shot, 1 fatally, in Champs-Elysees attack

Isis has claimed responsibility for the shooting attack in Paris that has left one police officer dead and two seriously injured.

A French interior ministry spokesman said on Thursday that a second policeman had not died of his wounds from an attack in Paris, as had been earlier reported.

Police say the officer who was killed was in a auto which had been stopped at a red light by the attacker.

Meanwhile, as France's elite anti-terrorism took control of the crime scene and searched the shooter's auto for possible explosives dozens of police officers kept the curious away.

Witnesses reported a helicopter flying low over central Paris, apparently part of a follow-up police operation.

The shooting comes a matter of days before the first round of the French presidential election, which is taking place on April 23.

Former French President Nicola Sarkozy's tweeted: "To our law enforcement: support, strength, courage".

Because of its worldwide renown and its large number of visitors, the Champs Elysees has always been seen as a potential target, the BBC's Hugh Schofield reports from the French capital.

The fatal incident unfolded as presidential candidates, including Front National party leader Marine Le Pen, debated on a TV show nearby before Sunday's election.

Paris resident Daoud Kal, 29, said he was walking in the area near a metro station when he heard four to five shots.

CNN affiliate BFMTV is reporting that Paris anti-terror forces are heading the investigation, but Police Secretary Yvan Assioma told reporters there were "no theories" about whether this was a criminal act or an act of terror. He says people must be strong and vigilant.

Brandit said it is too early to know if the gunman had an accomplice. "It just never ends". Just two days ago French authorities arrested two men in Marseille who were allegedly planning an attack in a run-up to the election. People have been told to say away from the area, which includes the shopping district popular with tourists.

The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month.

Speaking in Washington during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, U.S. President Donald Trump said the shooting "looks like another terrorist attack" and sent condolences to France.


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