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Monday, June 19

Presumed attempted suicide attack on French police in Champs-Élysées; perp dead

Daily Mail:
"Terror returns to Paris"

The dramatic moment a known extremist is pulled out of a smoking car containing weapons and explosives after RAMMING a police van in a ‘terror attack’ on the Champs-Élysées before an officer checks him for a suicide bomb
  • Car burst into flames moments after impact in the Paris tourist hotspot which is the main shopping district
  • Driver, who police confirmed as dead, was carrying a gun when he crashed into the police van deliberately
  • Witness said he heard shots being fired and saw smoke coming from the car after the collision this afternoon 
  • People were seen fleeing the area as police officers armed with machine guns attempted to get them to safety
By Gareth Davies In London and Peter Allen In Paris for MailOnline
PUBLISHED: 10:12 EDT, 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:45 EDT, 19 June 2017


A driver with a gun has died after ramming a police van on the Champs-Élysées in a car filled with weapons and a gas bomb.

His car burst into flames moments after impact having deliberately aimed at a line of police vans with a boot full of Kalashnikov rifles, handguns and gas bottles.

A police officer was videoed stripping clothes from the unconscious assailant to check for a suicide bomb as the assailant, who was a known extremist in France, lay dying in the street.

Witnesses in the capital said he heard shots being fired and smoke coming from the silver Renault Megane which was used by the 31-year-old perpetrator in what is being considered an attempted suicide attack, though nobody was injured.

Scroll down for video 

[Video/photos]

French anti-terrorism prosecutors opened an inquiry today after a suspected suicide attacker was seen targeting a line of police vans which were travelling up the Champs Elysee towards the Arc de Triomphe.

'There was a sudden impact, and then a fireball,' said an investigating source. 'A gas bomb was in the car.

'The man was very badly injured, and then pulled out of his damaged vehicle. He was badly injured in the collision and was taken away.

'He did not cause any injuries, but the collision was a deliberate act.'

An Interior Ministry source meanwhile said that the attacker 'is likely to have died following the attack'.

He added that 'numerous weapons were found in his car boot'.

The specialist anti-terrorism officers confirmed they had opened an inquiry into the kamikaze attack.

France's Interior Minister Gerard Collomb called the incident an attempted attack and said: 'Security forces have been targeted in France once again'.

The weapons and explosives found in the vehicle 'could potentially blow this car up,' he added.

Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said bomb disposal experts were on the scene to 'ensure the vehicle poses no further danger'.

Video showed orange smoke pouring from the car after the impact.

No police or bystanders were injured in the incident near the Grand Palais exhibition hall.

Police have closed two of the Metro stations on the Champs-Elysees, the world-renowned avenue lined with shops and cinemas that is a major tourist draw in the French capital.

The incident came just two months after a policeman was shot and killed on the avenue, three days before the first round of France's presidential election.

[...]

It is understood the car crashed into a police van and that there were no casualties as video footage emerged of the aftermath.

People were seen fleeing the area as police officers armed with machine guns frantically cleared the tourist hotspot.

A witness, who was just 20 metres from the incident, said: 'Large bangs followed by what sounded like shots fired near a car with smoke coming out of it on Champs Elysees.'

He added that one person was on the ground and that everyone in the area was told to run.

A journalist who happened to be in the area at the time said the man deliberately crashed his car into the van causing his vehicle to be set alight.

Officers leapt into action and broke the car window to drag him from the flames.

[...]

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