Police Officer Fatally Shot in Paris Attack

Police Officer Fatally Shot in Paris Attack

Police Officer Fatally Shot in Paris Attack

A French policeman was shot dead and two others were injured in central Paris on Thursday night in an attack carried out days before the presidential election and quickly claimed by the Islamic militant group.
President Francois Hollande said he was convinced that the “cowardly murder” on the boulevard of the Champs Elysees, in which the assailant was shot dead by the police, was an act of terrorism.
The wide avenue away from the Arc de Triomphe had been full of tourists and tourists enjoying a spring night, but police quickly cleared the area, which remained empty until well into the night of all security forces and police vehicles strongly Armed
Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the man had been identified, but investigators were still assessing whether he had accomplices.
A police arrest warrant issued on Thursday, which was seen by Reuters after the attack, warned of a dangerous person who had come in train by train from Belgium on Thursday. It was not clear if that man was the attacker or was linked to the shooting.
The agents searched the house of the dead attacker in a city east of Paris, a police source said.
“The sense of duty of our police tonight prevented a massacre … prevented a bloodbath on the Champs Elysees,” Interior Minister Matthias Fekl told reporters.
“A little after 9 o’clock a vehicle stopped next to a police car that was parked.” Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said: “A man went out and fired at the police vehicle, mortally wounding a police officer.”
France has lived in a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a series of Islamic attacks perpetrated mainly by young people who grew up in France and Belgium and who have killed more than 230 people in the last two years.

Police Officer Fatally Shot in Paris Attack

Witness Chelloug, a kitchen helper, told Reuters he was leaving a store and saw a man get out of a car and open fire with a rifle at a police officer. “The policeman fell, I heard six shots, I was afraid, I have a two-year-old girl and I thought I was going to die … He fired directly at the police officer.”
The Islamic group, which is being driven out of its areas of territorial control in Iraq and Syria by Western-backed coalitions and has hundreds of French-speaking fighters, claimed responsibility for the Thursday shootout through its Amaq news agency, naming To the attacker as Abu Yousif al-Belgiki.
The complaint came quickly and the appointment of the aggressor suggested a degree of direct contact with the Islamic state. The group also claimed responsibility for a car attack in London last month, killing four, but gave no name or details.
Police sources said the man was known by the intelligence services. French television stations reported that he was a 39-year-old French citizen known for previous violent crimes.

THE POLICE CLEANSES THE ZONE

Police authorities urged the public to avoid the area.
The Arc de Triomphe monument and the upper half of the Champs-Elysées were filled with police pick-ups, flashing lights and heavily armed police closing the area after what a journalist described as a major fire exchange.
The incident occurred as French voters prepared to go to the polls on Sunday in the most heavily contested presidential election in decades.
“We will be extremely vigilant, especially in relation to the election,” said President Hollande, who does not appear for re-election.
Earlier this week, two men were arrested in Marseille and police said they had planned an attack before the election.
A machine gun, two handguns and three kilos of TATP explosives were among the weapons found on a flat in the southern city along with propaganda materials from the Islamic state, according to Molins.
That incident brought security and immigration issues back to the forefront of the campaign, with the leader of the National Anti-Immigration Front, Marine Le Pen, repeating his call to close the partially open borders of Europe.
On Thursday, speaking after a television appearance, she said she was “deeply angry” and saddened by police victims “because not everything is done … to protect our compatriots, they need more than our compassion.”
The candidates in the election said they had been warned about the attackers in Marseille. Francois Fillon, who is the conservative candidate, said he would cancel campaign events he had planned for Friday. He also called for the campaign to be suspended in general, although from midnight on Friday the law says it has to stop anyway. The far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon said the campaign should continue. In November 2015, Paris was rocked by near-simultaneous firearm attacks at entertainment venues, where 130 people were killed and 368 injured. The Islamic state took responsibility. Two of the 10 known perpetrators were Belgian citizens and three others were French.

 

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