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Car Rams Police Vehicle, Explodes on Paris' Champs-Elysees; Attacker Dead

Car Rams Police Vehicle, Explodes on Paris' Champs-Elysees; Attacker Dead

France's interior minister has said that a driver who rammed a vehicle into police in an "attempted attack" on security forces on the Champs-Elysees was carrying a "number of firearms and explosives". "This shows once again that the terror threat level in France is high".

Interior Minister Gérard Collomb also tweeted it was an: "Attack aimed at our security forces".

London's Police Commander Cressida Dick called the van attack near Finsbury Park Mosque was clearly an attack on Muslims, and said people in Muslim communities will see more of their police protecting them in the coming days.

Mr Brandet said the driver, who appeared to have acted deliberately, was dead.

Security analysts say vehicle attacks often represent last-ditch attempts at violence and are hard to prevent.

The Paris prosecutor's counter-terrorism unit said an investigation had been opened into the incident only a short walk away from the Elysee presidential palace and the USA embassy. A source close to the case said the young man had a firearms permit.

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Neither the officers involved or any witnesses were hurt, but the attacker - a 31-year-old man who had been flagged for extremism - died in the explosion. In April, a policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in an attack on the Champs-Élysées.

In one of the most controversial moves of his young presidency, Emmanuel Macron has advocated enshrining certain of the state emergency's special police powers into French law. Paris police said neither gendarmes nor passers-by were injured.

It is unclear if the attacker has been killed or why he drove into the police.

Critics have said the security regimen has not prevented attacks and has resulted in warrantless, extrajudicial searches and house arrests.

Authorities advised people to avoid the area. Police shot and killed Karim Cheurfi as he tried to escape on the busy tourist boulevard.

It sparked a huge security operation as armed police rushed to the scene, with video from the area showing at least seven police vans lining the road.


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