NEW INFORMATION: Paris police say officer and attacker shot, killed

Police officers block the access to the Champs Elysees in Paris after a shooting AFP

The attacker was shot dead as he tried to run away.

According to Reuters, the so-called Islamic State has claimed via the Amaq news agency that one of its "fighters" carried out the attack, naming him as "The Belgian".

Brandit stopped short of calling the incident a terrorist attack, saying that authorities are looking at many possible motives, and that terror investigators are part of the investigation.

Conservative presidential contender Francois Fillon said he was cancelling his planned campaign stops on Friday and far-right candidate Marine Le Pen took to Twitter to offer her sympathy for law enforcement officers "once again targeted".

The gunman has also been killed.

"Police officers were deliberately targeted", Henry-Brandet added.

He said: "I thought they were firecrackers".

The attacker opened fire on a police van on the avenue before being killed.

Witness Ogur Yilmaz told Eleanor he was leaving a cafe when he heard "two or three shots" and saw people fleeing.

"The policeman fell down". He said it is too early to know if the gunman had an accomplice.

Because of its worldwide renown and its large number of visitors, the Champs Elysees has always been seen as a potential target, the BBC's Hugh Schofield reports from the French capital. The majority of those attacks had been claimed by the Islamic State.

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One officer was killed while in a auto stopped at a red light by a drive-by attacker.

Media had initially reported that at least two attackers were involved.

A French interior ministry spokesman said on Thursday that a second policeman had not died of his wounds from an attack in Paris, as had been earlier reported.

The attack came days before the first round of the French presidential election.

Trump: 'What can you say?'

"It never ends", the President said.

"We're three days before a presidential election", Eleanor says.

He said police were securing the area but there is "no other police operation under way" there.

French President Francois Hollande says he is convinced the circumstances surrounding the attack on Paris police officers points to a terrorist act. It was suspected that the gunman used it to reach the scene of the attack.

'It looks like another terrorist attack. It was unclear if the two were linked.

Police also searched the home of the assailant in the Seine-et-Marne department, east of Paris.

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