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Champs Élysées: anti-terror inquiry opened after car hits police van Champs Élysées: driver dead as car carrying firearms rams police van
(35 minutes later)
France’s anti-terror prosecutor has opened an investigation after a car rammed into a police van on the Champs-Élysées in central Paris. France’s anti-terror prosecutor has opened an investigation after a car carrying firearms and a gas canister rammed into a police van on the Champs-Élysées in central Paris.
The car’s driver was seriously injured, and possibly killed, in the alleged attack. The French interior minister, Gérard Collomb, said the driver of the car was killed in what he described as “an attempted attack” on a convoy of police vehicles driving down the avenue.
French media quoted police sources as saying the driver, who was alone in the vehicle, “probably died” in the collision. Several rounds of ammunition and a gas canister were found in the car, which briefly caught fire, BFM TV said. Collomb said two handguns, an AK47 assault rifle and a gas canister were found in the car. An interior ministry spokesman, Pierre-Henry Brandet, said bomb disposal experts were at the scene.
No other injuries, including to the police officers inside the van, were reported in the ramming, described by police as a “kamikaze attack”. No other injuries, including to the police officers inside the van, were reported in the ramming, which a police source told BFM TV resembled a “kamikaze attack”.
Eric Favereau, a journalist with the newspaper Libération who was on a motorbike behind the convoy, said he saw the police vans at a standstill near the Grand Palais exhibition hall and a car blocking their path, followed by an explosion.
Faverau said he saw flames coming from the car and police smashing its windows and dragging the driver out. He said some police then fired on the man while others used fire extinguishers to put out the blaze.
Police cleared the area and cordoned off the Champs-Élysées, also closing a nearby metro station. The area, popular with tourists, has been on high security alert since a police officer was shot and killed on the Champs-Élysées in April.Police cleared the area and cordoned off the Champs-Élysées, also closing a nearby metro station. The area, popular with tourists, has been on high security alert since a police officer was shot and killed on the Champs-Élysées in April.
Days before the first round of France’s presidential election, Karim Cheurfi, a convicted criminal who carried a note defending Islamic State, used a Kalashnikov rifle to kill the police officer before being shot dead himself.Days before the first round of France’s presidential election, Karim Cheurfi, a convicted criminal who carried a note defending Islamic State, used a Kalashnikov rifle to kill the police officer before being shot dead himself.