Islamic State claims responsibility for Paris attack
Counter-terrorism investigation under way after policeman is killed on Champs-Élysées
A policeman was shot dead and two others were seriously wounded on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on Thursday night, in an attack claimed by Islamic State.
The suspected assailant was killed by police. President François Hollande said he was convinced the incident was a terrorist attack.
The shooting, which occured just three days before the most tightly contested presidential election in living memory is being investigated by the counter-terrorism office.
Police have also issued an arrest warrant for a second suspect in the shooting, according to a document obtained by Reuters.
The warrant said the man had arrived in France by train from Belgium.
Pierre-Henry Brandet, the spokesman for the ministry of the interior said that just before 9pm “a vehicle stopped alongside a police van where policemen were stationed inside and outside”.
“A man got out of the vehicle and opened fire on the van with an automatic weapon, fatally wounding a policeman.
“He ran along the pavement, shooting and wounding two other policemen. The police returned fire, killing the assailant.”
Mr Brandet rejected reports that a second policeman had died.
Police cars filled surrounding streets and the neighbourhood was evacuated. The gunman’s abandoned car was checked for explosives.
Police also searched the home of the assailant in the Seine-et-Marne department, east of Paris.
A machine gun, two hand-guns and three kilograms of TATP explosives were found in the apartment, along with an Islamic State flag.
Late on Thursday night, the Amaq news agency, which is associated with Islamic State, reported that the jihadist group had claimed responsibility for the attack.
It claimed the attacker as one of its soldiers, naming him as Abu Yousif, the Belgian, according to Reuters.
On Tuesday, two men were arrested in Marseille. Police said they planned “an imminent attack”.
Additional reporting: Reuters