Attacks Against Police on the Champs-Elysees: What we Know

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A shootout erupted at around 9pm on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Gunshots rang out on Thursday night, around 9pm, on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. A police car was attacked. One policeman was killed and two others were seriously injured. A passerby was slightly injured. The attacker was shot in retaliation.

A shootout erupted on the famous Champs-Elysees in Paris on Thursday evening, around 9pm, three days before the first round of a presidential election under close supervision because of the high threat of terrorism. We will summarize what is known about this attack claimed by the Islamic State, in which a policeman died.

What happened ?

The attacker was travelling on the avenue in a car, according to police sources quoted by AFP: “He got out. He opened fire on the police car with automatic weapons.”  A policeman was killed in the attack. Two of his colleagues were injured. According to the spokesman of the Interior Ministry, the police were deliberately targeted by the attacker.

A passerby was also wounded in the shooting. This is a tourist who was hit by shrapnel. The attacker, firing the shots at the policemen, was shot in “response” said Minister of the Interior.

Who killed the assailant?

The assailant was killed, targeted by an anti- terrorism officer for demonstrating his intention to kill police officers. A search was under way Thursday night in Seine-et-Marne in the home of the man who is the holder of the registration certificate of the vehicle used for the attack. “We can not exclude that there is one or more accomplices” , said the spokesman of the Interior Ministry on Thursday.

Is this a terrorist act?

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack via its usual propaganda organ. The anti-terrorist section of the Paris prosecutor was conducting the investigation.

The Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, and the interior minister, Mathias Fekl, surrendered at the Elysee just before 10pm for a crisis meeting. Following this meeting, François Hollande said: “We are convinced that the tracks that can lead to the investigation will reveal the truth are a terrorist nature. “

The Head of State also announced the holding of a Defense Council on Friday morning at 8 am. “We will be increased vigilance particularly in the context of the electoral process”, assured François Hollande.

How did the presidential candidates react ?

The shooting broke out when that was broadcast live political issue “15 Minutes”, where the eleven candidates for president have succeeded to expose their program. They paid tribute on television and on Twitter for the policeman killed and express their support for law enforcement.


Following the shooting, François Fillon cancelled his trip scheduled for Friday in Chamonix. Marine Le Pen has also announced that she would not go in Monceau-les-Mines.

François Fillon also called for the suspension of the campaign in the wake of this tragedy. “I consider that in the context that we live there is no reason to continue the election campaign”, he has said on France 2. The campaign for the first round officially ends Friday at midnight.

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