Paris shooting: Police officers shot at Champs Elysees days out from French elections
APRIL 21, 20179:09AM
Deadly shooting shuts down the Champs Elysees in Paris
Ellen Whinnett and staff writers
News Corp Australia Network
THE Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for an attack on police in the heart of Paris, in a statement by the jihadists’ propaganda agency Amaq.
“The perpetrator of the attack in Champs Elysee in central Paris is Abu Yussef the Belgian and he is one of the Islamic State’s fighters,” it said.
A statement from Amaq, the official IS channel, claiming the attack on the police in Paris.Source:Supplied
Police officers secure the area after a gunman opened fire.Source:Getty Images
One police officer is dead and another two seriously injured following the attack on the iconic Champs Elysees boulevard, just three days before France heads to the polls to elect a new president.
Gunfire was heard in a second location nearby, French media reported.
Masked police stand on top of their vehicle on the Champs Elysees boulevard following the shooting attack.Source:Reuters
Police officers guarding a metro station in the centre of the Champs Elysees shopping district were gunned down about 9pm Thursday Paris time (5am Friday AEST), when the area was busy with people visiting restaurants and bars.
French interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told reporters the shooting started when a car stopped alongside a stationary police vehicle.
Police secure the Champs Elysees boulevard after one policeman was killed and two others wounded.Source:Reuters
“A man immediately got out and opened fire on the police car, fatally wounding a police officer ... He also wounded a second one, it would seem very seriously,” he said.
The gunman was also killed, but it is possible at least one accomplice may have escaped.
An armed soldier secures a side road near the Champs Elysees boulevard following the attack.Source:Reuters
One officer was pronounced dead at the scene, while the two injured officers are being treated in hospital with at least one fighting for life. The car was abandoned at the scene.
The attacker was being investigated over his possible intention to kill police officers, sources close to the investigation said.
Police raided the man’s home in a Paris suburb after the violence on the bustling, world-famous boulevard.
Three police officers have been shot in an attack on the Champs Elysees in Paris.Source:AFP
Firefighters and rescuers stand by the site of a shooting on the Champs Elysees in Paris.Source:AFP
Police rush to the scene of the shooting on the Champs Elysees.Source:AP
ATTACK ON EVE OF ELECTION
The incident comes despite France being on red alert for a possible terrorist attack in the final countdown to Sunday’s first-round presidential election.
French conservative politician Francois Fillon, a candidate in France’s presidential election, says campaigning should be suspended following the shooting in Paris.
Fillon and fellow candidate, the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, cancelled campaign events scheduled for Friday, on what will be the last day of campaigning before the first round of voting in the presidential election.
Le Pen has been campaigning against mass Muslim migration and has been repeatedly warning of a terror attack.
Security in France is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men on Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack.
‘WE SHALL BE OF THE UTMOST VIGILANCE’: HOLLANDE
Speaking after the attack, French President Francois Hollande said security forces would be vigilant during the forthcoming presidential election.
An emergency meeting of security, defence and intelligence top officials would be held on Friday, he said in a televised statement on Thursday night.
Hollande, who is not running again for office, said: “We shall be of the utmost vigilance, especially in relation to the election.”
Police sources earlier told French media it appeared the incident was terror-related.
There were earlier reports it may have been an armed robbery gone wrong, but police have launched a terrorism inquiry and all indications are that it is terror-related.
A police officer evacuates a road near the Champs Elysees in Paris after the shooting.Source:AFP