French police officer killed, Champs-Elysées in Paris closed, CNN affiliate says

Bruno Cirelli
Aprile 21, 2017

A police officer was killed and two seriously injured when a gunman opened fire on a cop auto along Paris' busiest street Thursday evening - and ISIS is taking credit for the attack. He said one police officer was killed and two others were seriously injured and hospitalized.

Police are warning people to avoid the Champs-Elysees, one of the world's most prestigious boulevards.

France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks, mostly perpetrated by young men who grew up in France and Belgium, and that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron offered his thoughts to the family of the dead officer.

President Donald Trump cited the attack as terrorism in a statement shortly after the incident, saying it "looks like another terrorist attack", as he sent his condolences to the people of France in a joint press conference with Italy's prime minister at the White House.

The Paris prosecutor's office said counterterrorism investigators are involved in the probe.

French media are reporting that two police officers were shot Thursday on the famed shopping boulevard.

Cops killed the shooter at the scene - and say he was someone they'd previously flagged as an extremist.

Police sources said the man was known to intelligence services. Hollande said he is convinced the circumstances of the shooting points to a terrorist act.

"An automatic weapon was used against police, a weapon of war", Mr Brandet said, adding that the "terrorist threat" in the country remained high.

French interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told reporters the shooting started when a vehicle stopped alongside a stationary police auto. "Some were crying. There were tens, maybe even hundreds of them". Subway stations were closed off.

A police source told Reuters there had been two assailants, while a witness saw one man get out of a vehicle at the scene and begin shooting with a machine gun.

French conservative politician Francois Fillon, a candidate in France's presidential election, says campaigning should be suspended following the shooting in Paris.

Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said it was too early to say what the motive of the attack was, but that it was clear the police officers had been deliberately targeted.

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.

A French television station hosting an event with the 11 candidates running for president briefly interrupted its broadcast to report the shootings.

None of the candidates immediately commented.

The first round of the presidential race is will take place on on Sunday and the two top contenders will advance to a run-off on May 7.

He also called for campaigning generally to be suspended, although from midnight on Friday the law says it has to stop anyway.

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