Suspected attacker drives into police vehicle on Champs-Elysees in Paris

Frederick Owens
June 21, 2017

He wants France's government to extend the state of emergency a few more months to November 1.

Previous major attacks targeted the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in January 2015.

Tourists strolling along Paris' famous Champs-Elysees boulevard watched in horror as a vehicle rammed into a police van Monday afternoon - and some witnessed the auto burst into flames as police grabbed the man inside and put him on the ground. The terrorist, a 31-year-old man from the Paris suburb of Argenteuil, had an AK-47 assault rifle in the vehicle along with a gas tank, French authorities confirmed, according to Fox News.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation into Monday's incident.

A 31-year-old man on a jihadist watchlist rammed a auto loaded with guns and a gas bottle into a police van on the Champs-Elysees on Monday but inflicted no casualties, in the latest of a string of attacks in Paris, sources said. "The threat is extremely high", Minister of the Interior Gerard Collomb told reporters.

Bomb squad officers are at the scene on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists. This was the second incident on the avenue this year.

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

"Nobody can be happy, and certainly not me, that someone who has been flagged to security agencies can continue to benefit from such an authorization", said Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

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Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the incident was apparently deliberate. Delivered at 11 a.m. Monday-Friday.

A driver deliberately rammed his auto into a police van as it drove down Paris' Champs Elysees avenue and was probably killed, police said, adding that no officers or bystanders were injured and the situation was under control.

WJC President Ronald Lauder said in a statement Monday that the organization stands together with the people of London "in confronting another awful act of terror".

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.

Footage from the scene, screened by broadcaster BFMTV, showed intense flames coming from the passenger compartment of a saloon vehicle and police apparently attempting to pull the driver out. They say he has been arrested after being injured in a subsequent apparent clash with police.

The driver of the auto has been arrested, French broadcaster BFMTV reported. Collomb also said the suspect is now dead.

In the latest ramming incident in Europe, a man drove on Monday his explosives-laden vehicle into a police van that was headed down the famed Champs Elysees avenue in the French capital Paris.

"I couldn't understand, but I find it really unusual that a auto would pass (police) vans and all of a sudden spit fire, " said Pfister.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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