They will battle in the first round of elections on Sunday, standing on vastly different platforms from far-right to far-left. The two top contenders will advance to a runoff on May 7.
A statement by ISIS' propaganda agency Amaq said the attacker was one of its "fighters", identifying him as "Abu Youssef the Belgian". There are also unconfirmed reports of another shooting victim, but it is unclear if that person was a bystander or another attacker.
The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility just a few hours after the attack.
Police said a search was underway at the home east of Paris of an attacker who was shot dead after opening fire on police on the Champs-Elysees, killing one police officer immediately and wounding another. "As soon as the policeman opened the door of the van, he fell".
Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said no tourists or pedestrians were injured. "The candidate from National Front, like every drama, seeks to profit and use the situation to divide and benefit for exclusively political ends", he said in a televised address.
One witness was walking on the pavement nearby when the gunman appeared.
Officers at the scene said they were searching for a potential second assailant, and a police source said an arrest warrant had been issued for a suspect in the shooting who had arrived in Paris from Belgium by train.
Officers could be seen forcibly removing innocent citizens from the area as they attempted to get them to safety.
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.
Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said he will reveal the shooter's identity on Friday at a news conference. The gunman was killed by police.
Another police officer has been wounded. He said a auto pulled up next to a police vehicle at 9pm local time (8pm BST) and a man got out opening fire with an automatic weapon.
French President Francois Hollande convened a meeting of the country's defense council Friday.
Officials said the suspect had previously been flagged as an extremist. I thought they were firecrackers, because we all looked around the road and there was no one.
He says: "Paris is Paris".
The Islamic State cell responsible for the Paris terrorist attacks in November 2015 used Kalashnikov-style rifles.
US President Donald Trump on Friday said a deadly attack in Paris claimed by the Islamic State group "will have a big effect" on France's upcoming presidential vote.
Trump is also offering condolences from the U.S.to the people of France.
He calls the attack a "terrible thing" and says "it never ends".
"We shall be of the utmost vigilance, especially in relation to the election", said President Francois Hollande, who is not himself running for re-election.
The attack happened just three short days before the first round of the French presidential election and will most likely have an effect on it, according to Simchayoff.
Emergency vehicles blocked the wide Champs-Elysees, an avenue lined with boutiques and normally packed with cars and tourists that cuts across central Paris between the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Gardens.
She has come under fire since revealing she would not seek the death penalty against any defendant, including Markeith Loyd. Loyd was captured after an eight-day manhunt that was launched by police for fatally shooting Lt.
But it is important to point out that voter disillusionment is so high in France that as many as a third of people may not vote. An attacker shot dead one policeman and injured two others in one of the most famous streets in the world, the Champs Elysees.
Monaco and Real will play the first leg at home , on May 2 and 3 respectively, with the return fixtures being played on May 9-10. Juventus came very close to Radamel Falcao two years ago, we can confirm.
The University of California, Berkeley , has reversed its decision to cancel an appearance by conservative firebrand Ann Coulter. The conservative Coulter, who frequently attacks liberals, was bound to draw ire at the notably liberal college campus.
The new system outlined under the constitutional changes will take full effect at the next election, slated for November 2019. The YPG is the dominant group within the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria.
The government also sanctioned Rs 10,000 each for conducting the last rites of the deceased, the collector said. Reportedly, Kerosene oil was being distributed to BPL families when the explosion took place.
Conservative candidate Fillon and far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon have closed the gap substantially in the last two weeks. He said Obama expressed his deep attachment to France and the importance of the relationship between the two countries.
A Farmington, New Hampshire, songwriter even posted a music video on YouTube called, " I'm Going Crazy Waiting (For A Giraffe )". Animal Adventure Park is encouraging people to submit your vote along with a $1 donation and the funds will be split.
Defense officials said majority of the frontline ships of Indian navy are capable of firing this missile. The Indian Navy today successfully test-fired land attack version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile.
Samsung, which last week unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, was helped by strong sales of memory chips. In this March 24, 2017 photo, a man walks past near a logo of Samsung Electronics in Seoul, South Korea .
Trump addresses Paris incident: Looks like a terrorist attack
The Thursday evening attack took place in the city's Champs-Elysees district, which is hugely popular with tourists and shoppers. A known extremist opened fire on police officers late Thursday on the Champs-Élysées boulevard in Paris , officials said .
Brighton earn Premier League promotion
Playmaker Knockaert was Albion's stand-out man this season but his previous Premier League campaign was forgettable. Sone Aluko and Neeskens Kebano settled matters as the numerical disadvantage came to bear in the second period.
Arkansas carries out first execution since 2005
But a divided Supreme Court in 2015 ruled that prisoners did not prove the drug entailed "a substantial risk of severe pain". Reese's family declined to speak to reporters after the execution and said they would release a written statement later.
General Motors plant seized, protesters killed in Venezuela
We're watching it closely and working with others ... to communicate those concerns", Tillerson added, according to Reuters. PRESIDENT NICOLAS MADURO, Venezuela (through interpreter): The time for combat has arrived, my fellow patriots.
Liriano, bullpen pitch 6-hitter, Blue Jays beat Red Sox 3-0
Sale was momentarily in-line for his second win of the season after Xander Bogaerts's go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth. The 33-year-old worked his typical quietly effective magic sedating a Red Sox lineup full of unsafe offensive threats.
Madras HC quashes maintenance case against Dhanush
They claimed he was born to them in 1985 at the Rajaji Hospital in Madurai and had run away when he was a student of Class 11. The couple demanded a maintenance charge of Rs 65,000 per month and claimed that they were poor despite having a rich son.
Strong fourth quarters alone can't save the Indiana Pacers
The comeback from a 25-point halftime deficit was the largest such comeback in National Basketball Association postseason history. Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan suffered against the Grizzlies going 0-for-8 from the floor, with only two rebounds and no assists.
United issues new policy after plane incident
The video has been viewed millions of times worldwide, and caused a global uproar and grabbed headlines in multiple countries. United CEO Oscar Munoz keeps apologizing , but the cell phone videos of Dao's removal - he is 69, by the way - keep playing.