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One police officer killed and two wounded in Paris shooting. ISIS claims responsibility for the attack- UPDATE+VIDEO

At least one police officer was killed and two were seriously wounded in a shooting incident in central Paris on Thursday night. The attacker was killed and an arrest warrant was issued for a second suspect.

The Islamic State group claimed the shooting, days before French presidential elections, naming the attacker as Abu Yousif.

France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.

UPDATE: Emmanuel Macron, the centrist frontrunner in France’s presidential elections, has cancelled his two last campaign rallies in Rouen and Arras, saying that he didn’t want to take up police time.

 

UPDATE: Conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon said the fight against “Islamist totalitarianism” should be the priority of France’s next president.

“This battle for the freedom and security of the French must be the priority of the next government. It will require an unyielding determination and a cool head.”

“Radical Islam is challenging our values and our strength of character.”

Fillon, who has been campaigning on a hard-line security platform, said: “We are at war, there is no alternative, it’s us or them.”

He added that the priority of his foreign policy would be to “destroy Islamic State.

UPDATE: French police have taken into custody three family members of the gunman killed in a shootout with police on Paris’ Champs Elysee on Thursday, a legal source said, according to Reuters.

UPDATE: The man responsible for a shootout in central Paris on Thursday was a French national, Belgian interior minister Jan Jambon told public broadcaster VRT.

UPDATE: Far-right French leader Marine Le Pen is calling for “a clear head and a firm grip” in the wake of the Champs-Elysees gun attack that put the focus back on one of the main themes of her election campaign for the French presidency: France’s fight against Islamic extremism. Marine Le Pen said France should immediately reinstate border checks and expel foreigners who are on the watch lists of intelligence services.

UPDATE: A man that Belgian authorities had flagged to their French counterparts over possible involvement in Thursday’s Paris shootings turned himself into police in Belgium’s northern city of Antwerp, news agency Belga said on Friday.

Speaking on France’s Europe 1 radio after the shootout on the Champs Elysees shopping street, French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said a second man had been identified by Belgian security officials and brought to the attention of French authorities.

UPDATE: According to the Associated Press, the French police searched a home in the town of Chelles, belonging to 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi. AP reporters identify Cheurfi as the author of the attack but there are no official confirmations form the French authorities.

Cheurfi is known for attacking a police officer back in 2001.

UPDATE: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Friday an attack in central Paris is the latest reminder that terrorism can strike anywhere and at anytime, and the United States would not relent in its efforts to end terrorism. Pence made the remarks at the start of a roundtable with businessmen in Jakarta, where he was ending a two-day visit to Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

UPDATE: The gunman who killed one police officer and wounded two others has been identified, but his name will not be revealed until investigators determine whether he had accomplices, the Paris prosecutor said.

“The identity of the attacker is known and has been checked. I will not give it because investigations with raids are ongoing,” Francois Molins told reporters.

“The investigators want to be sure whether he had or did not have accomplices.”

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the wounded police officers’ lives were no longer in danger.

UPDATE: Islamic State was responsible for the attack in central Paris, the group’s Amaq news agency said.

It identified the attacker as one of its soldiers naming him as Abu Yousif, the Belgian.

UPDATE:  French conservative politician Francois Fillon, a candidate in France’s presidential election, said on Thursday that campaigning should be suspended following the shooting in Paris in which a police officer was killed, and two others were wounded.

UPDATE: French conservative presidential candidate Francois Fillon on Thursday evening said he was cancelling a planned election campaign outing on Friday after a shooting in Paris which killed a policeman.

Voters are set to head to the polls on Sunday in the first round of a two part election, and campaigning by the 11 candidates in the running was due to be wrapped up on Friday.

UPDATE: Presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon showed his solidarity with the families of the policemen targeted in the Paris shooting. “I strongly feel for the policemen killed and wounded and their families. Terrorist attacks will never go unpunished, accomplices never forgotten,” Mélenchon posted on Twitter.

UPDATE: French president François Hollande said that, according to present information, the attack on Champs Elysees avenue had a “terrorist nature”.

“We are convinced of one thing. The potential leads that could get us to the truth are all of terrorist nature,” Hollande explained in a press conference. “We will be extremely cautious especially because this is an election period,”he added.

“We all need to realise that our security forces are targeted. They have the full support of the nation,” said the French president.

UPDATE: The attacker involved in the Paris shooting was shot dead after he tried to run from the police. He has not been identified, according to Pierre-Henry Brandet, the interior ministry spokesman. Brandet also mentioned that the reports of a second shooting in Paris were incorrect.

“An automatic weapon was used against police, a weapon of war,” the spokesman, Pierre-Henry Brandet, told reporters, adding that the “terrorist threat” in the country remained high.

Brandet said the shooting started at shortly after 9 p.m. when a car stopped alongside a stationary police car. “A man immediately got out and opened fire on the police car, fatally wounding a police officer … He also wounded a second one, it would seem very seriously,” he said.

UPDATE: An arrest warrant was issued for a second suspect in the Paris shooting. The suspect arrived by train in France from Belgium.

UPDATE: Authorities don’t have specific information regarding the number of attackers involved in the Paris shooting. The French Interior Ministry spokesman said they can’t exclude the possibility of more than one attackers involved in the incident that killed two police officers.

UPDATE: Marine Le Pen’s biggest rival in the race for the French presidency, Emanuel Macron, also shared a message of solidarity on Twitter after the Paris shooting.

UPDATE: French presidential election candidate Marine Le Pen posted a message of solidarity with the Paris police after the shooting that took place on Champs Elysees avenue. “Emotion and solidarity for our security forces that were targeted again,” Le Pen posted on Twitter.

UPDATE: A police helicopter is patrolling the area where the Paris shooting took place, according to The Telegraph.

UPDATE: 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.

UPDATE: Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve joined President François Hollande at the Elysée Palace, according to Le Monde.

UPDATE: New shots where fired near Paris’ Champs Elysees avenue, more than an hour after a police officer was killed on the avenue earlier, a police source told Reuters on Thursday.

The counter-terrorism office has opened an investigation into the shooting, the prosecutor’s office said. One of the gunmen was killed and a police source said that the attacker was known to security seervices.

UPDATE: The gunman involved in the Paris shooting was killed. According to Police sources, he was known to the security services.

UPDATE: U.S. President Donald Trump offers his condolences after a police officer was killed in Paris. Trump stated that the shooting in Paris looks like another terrorist attack.

The Italian Prime Minister, Paolo Gentiloni, also sends his condolences to France.

President Donald Trump and Italy’s Paolo Gentiloni are holding at this moment a joint news conference from the White House.

UPDATE: Police officers were deliberately targeted in the Paris Champs Elysees avenue shooting, but it is too early to say what the motive was, French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on Thursday.

UPDATE: The police officer who was killed in central Paris was shot while in a car stopped at a red light by attacker driving by, a police union said on Twitter.


A person who fired on police on the Champs-Elysees shopping boulevard just days ahead of France’s presidential election has been killed, the source said. A police source also said there had been two assailants, and a witness told Reuters that one man got out of a car at the scene and began shooting with a machine gun.

Police authorities called on the public to avoid the area.

A Reuters reporter saw a helicopter flying low over central Paris, apparently part of a follow-up police operation.

French TV channel BFM broadcast footage of the Arc de Triomphe monument and top half of the Champs Elysees packed with police vans, lights flashing and heavily armed police shutting the area down after what was described by one journalist as a major exchange of fire nears a Marks and Spencers store.

The incident came as French voters prepared go to the polls on Sunday in the most tightly-contested presidential election in living memory.

France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.

Earlier this week, two men were arrested in Marseille whom police said had been planning an attack ahead of the election.

A machine gun, two hand guns and three kilos of TATP explosive were among the weapons found at a flat in the southern city along with jihadist propaganda materials according to the Paris prosecutor.

Reuters

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