ISIS claims "fighter" carried out Paris shooting attack

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 21, 2017

The French Interior Ministry, confirming the shooting, said two police officers were "seriously wounded" and that security forces gunned down the attacker.

Officers at the scene said they were searching for a potential second assailant, and Brandet said it could not be ruled out that there was another or others involved.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Paris shooting that left a police officer dead today, several news organizations reported after hours of speculation.

The incident comes just three days before Sunday's first round of the country's presidential election.

France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron appealed to French voters to keep a cool head.

French President Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting with the prime minister Thursday night and planned to convene the defence council Friday morning.

But the 55-year-old says visitors to the French "were running, running.Some were crying".

Mr Brandet said the shooting occurred shortly before 9pm on Thursday (5am AEST), when a auto pulled up to a police vehicle that was parked on the famous boulevard. He said one police officer was killed and two others were seriously injured and hospitalized.

Investigators found a pump-action shotgun and knives in the vehicle of the gunman who targeted police on the Champs-Elysees, and were working to determine whether he had accomplices.

Mr Hollande said that a passer-by had also been wounded in the shooting, but he did not specify how badly. She said he appeared to be acting alone.

The gunman then "tried to leave by running away while aiming at, and trying to target, other police officers", Mr Brandet said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that police officers killed the attacker.

PARIS (AP) - Paris police are warning people to avoid the area around the French capital's grand Champs-Elysees.

French TV channel BFM broadcast footage of the Arc de Triomphe monument and top half of the Champs Elysees packed with police vans, lights flashing and heavily armed police shutting the area down after what was described by one journalist as a major exchange of fire near a Marks and Spencers store.

Subway stations in the area were closed off on Thursday night while police secure the scene. "There were tens, maybe even hundreds of them". Francois Fillon, who is the conservative candidate, said he would cancel the campaign events he had been planning for Friday.

"Police operation taking place in the Champs Elysee area", they said.

Mr Brandet said a robbery may have been carried out at the same time as the attack but it is not clear if the two are linked.

A witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM she heard gunshots and saw a man's body on the ground before police quickly evacuated the area.

None of the candidates immediately commented. It 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.

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