French media report 2 police have been shot in Paris

The terrorist network's news agency later identified the attacker as Belgian man Abu Yousef al-Belgiki and took credit for the shooting.

A police arrest warrant issued earlier on Thursday, which was seen by Reuters after the attack, warned of a risky individual who had come into France by train from Belgium on Thursday. French politicians immediately spoke out on social media.

In this image made from video, police attend the scene after an incident on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, Thursday April 20, 2017.

Thousands of troops and armed police have been deployed to guard tourist hotspots such as the Champs Elysees or other potential targets including government buildings and religious sites.

In a televised address, outgoing French President Francois Hollande called the shooting the work of terrorists.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told BFM television that a man stepped from a auto and opened fire on a police vehicle. He said one police officer was killed and two others were seriously injured and hospitalized.

France's presidential candidates have expressed their solidarity with police forces following the shootings of three officers in Paris.

Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Once again the police family is in mourning and it serves to underline how fearless officers are putting their life on the line day in and day out to protect the public". The auto was abandoned at the scene.

The man was a French national who shot two officers in 2001 after being stopped by a police vehicle, the source said.

French anti-terror prosecutors and the National Intelligence Service are now opening an investigation to determine the nature of the incident on the Champs Elysees, according to the Paris Prosecutor's Office in a text to CNN, looking at terror as a possible motive in this attack.

One of the candidates, Francois Fillon, has canceled his campaign events on Friday, Reuters reports.

This attack occurs just days before the country's presidential election taking place on Sunday.

Police have swarmed on the iconic boulevard.

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France has been under a state of emergency since 2015, because of a series of deadly terrorist attacks over the past several years.

French President Francois Hollande held a press conference after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

"We don't understand why Islamic State has identified the wrong person", said a police source.

He was reportedly trying to flee on foot, police sources said.

One officer was killed and another was wounded.

Paris police say a gunman has killed a police officer and wounded another before being killed himself in an attack on the Champs-Elysees shopping district.

Candidates in the election said they had been warned about the Marseille attackers.

One witness was walking on the pavement nearby when the gunman appeared.

The gunman attacked as the officers were guarding an area near the Franklin Roosevelt metro station, not far from the Arc de Triomphe on Thursday night. People panicked and ran away from the scene and he joined them.

"They were running, running", said 55-year-old Badi Ftaiti, who lives in the area.

"Avoid the area and comply with police instructions".

IS described the shootings as an attack "in the heart of Paris".

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