Merkel Expresses Solidarity With France After Paris Attack

A shooting on Paris' Champs-Elysees Thursday night left one police officer dead, along with the suspected shooter.

BFMTV also reported that another police officer was seriously injured and an unidentified man was hit by the "cross-fire" in the the Champs-Elysees area.

Witnesses said the pair had targeted a police vehicle parked at a red light using Kalashnikovs.

Authorities are trying to determine whether "one or more people" might have helped the attacker, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

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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.

Security in France is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men on Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack.

Hollande said a bystander was also struck by a bullet in the incident.

One attacker fired the shots with a machine gun and was subsequently killed by law enforcement. "Some were crying. There were tens, maybe even hundreds of them". Some said three police officers shot.

The Islamic State group's claim of responsibility just a few hours after the attack came unusually swiftly for the extremist group, which has been losing territory in Iraq and Syria. The ISIS statement said the attacker was a Belgian national and cited "security sources".

The suspect was the subject of a "Fiche S" surveillance file, according to a CNN source. He was known to the French domestic security service DGSI. Authorities have been searching the gunman's home in east Paris.

And gunfire was heard in a second location nearby, French media is reporting.

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A month ago, a would-be terrorist shot and wounded a police officer at a roadblock before being shot dead after attacking three soldiers at Orly Airport in suburban Paris. Pictures and TV footage showed the area surrounded by police vehicles and officers.

At a news conference Thursday alongside Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, President Trump said, "Our condolences from our country to the people of France".

He continued: "Again, it's happening, it seems". I just saw it as I was walking in, so that's a bad thing. "It is a very, very awful thing that's going on in the world today", Trump told reporters in a joint press conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Palo Gentiloni.

One officer was killed and two police officers were seriously wounded when the attacker emerged from a auto and used an automatic weapon to shoot at officers outside a Marks & Spencer's department store at the center of the Champs-Elysees, anti-terrorism prosecutor Francois Molins said. What can you say? And what can you say - it just never ends. "We have to be strong, and we have to be vigilant", he added, quoting President Trump, CNN reports.

The attack happened during a prime-time television debate featuring all 11 presidential candidates.

Conservative French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon tweeted, "Paying homage to police who give their lives to protect ours, #ChampsElysees".

On March 18, a man with a criminal history and ties to radical Islam shouted: "I am here to die for Allah!"

The attacker was being investigated over his possible intention to kill police officers, sources close to the investigation said.

Police have not identified a motive in the attack.

The attack occurred on the most famous avenue in Paris, not far from another landmark, the Arc de Triomphe.

On the iconic avenue in the heart of Paris, municipal workers in white hygiene suits were out before dawn Friday to wash down the sidewalk where the assault took place - a scene now depressingly familiar after multiple attacks that have killed more than 230 people in France in little over two years.

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