Man rams police vehicle in Paris; attacker likely killed

Man rams police vehicle in Paris; attacker likely killed

No one else was injured despite the crowds of tourists and others walking down the avenue on a hot, sunny day, the Paris police department said. Video showed a thick orange smoke pouring from the auto after the impact as the vehicle sat in the middle of the prestigious avenue which is lined with shops and cinemas. The culprit was killed, said the Ministry of internal Affairs of France.

Agence France-press and the TV channel BFM-TV reported that the vehicle the perpetrator of the accident was found a Kalashnikov rifle, ammunition and a gas cylinder. Witnesses say police dragged the man, who was not named, out of the vehicle and put him on the ground a few meters away as the auto burst into flames.

Police said the 31-year-old man had been flagged for extremism.

The small white auto caught on fire after the collision and the driver may be dead, France's interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told reporters Monday afternoon. "Some shouted at me to get away".

Anti-terrorism prosecutors have opened an investigation into the incident that briefly sparked chaos on the world famous avenue.

The driver who attacked police on the Champs-Elysées on Monday had a permit to carry arms, sources close to the case have admitted, despite the fact he was on France's terror watchlist for having been radicalized.

Visitors to an art exhibit of Auguste Rodin's works in central Paris were confined inside the Grand Palais for an hour after an attacker rammed into a police convoy on the nearby Champs-Elysees.

- Last month, a man attacked an officer with a hammer at Notre-Dame Cathedral, proclaiming, "This is for Syria", Collomb said.

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In April a gunman shot a police officer dead on the Champs-Elysees, three days before the first round of the French presidential election.

The attacker was killed in Monday's incident.

It's the latest in a series of terror attacks this year against security forces in the French capital.

France is under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Previous major attacks targeted the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in January 2015. Police were reported to have searched the man's home in the Essonne area south of Paris. And in July past year, a radicalised Tunisian man killed 86 people as he rammed a truck through a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks in the Riviera city of Nice.

On Wednesday, the French government is to unveil a new anti-terrorism law, created to allow the state of emergency to be lifted. Collomb also said the suspect is now dead.

"If we want to effectively ensure the security of our citizens, we must be able to take a certain number of measures", he added.

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