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22 April 2017, 01:01 | Terri Saunders
Police take positions near the Champs Elysees avenue
And gunfire was heard in a second location nearby, French media is reporting.
The shooting occurred at around 8 p.m. local time Thursday on the Champs Elysees shopping street in central Paris.
Pierre Henry Brandet, of the French Interior Ministry, said the attacker stopped his auto in front of a police van and emerged with an automatic weapon. Exactly what you said - a vehicle pulled up on the Champs-Elysees. The assailant was killed in retaliatory police fire. Armed police officers, some with shields and riot gear are keeping the public away.
Thousands of troops and armed police have been deployed to guard tourist hotspots such as the Champs Elysees or other potential targets including government buildings and religious sites.
Police have searched a home in a suburb east of Paris believed linked to the attack. Francois Fillon, who is the conservative candidate, said he would cancel the campaign events he had been planning for Friday. Thursday's attack reminds voters of the security challenges the country is facing, Boucek said.
President Francois Hollande said that he was convinced the attack was "terrorist-related".
Police sources said the man was known to intelligence services. The attack happened at night on the Champs Elysees boulevard, which was quickly evacuated after the shooting.
Le Pen, slightly behind frontrunner Macron in the polls, has already reacted to the attack by saying she will introduce tougher immigration and border control, and she will likely continue to capitalize on it, said Françoise Boucek, lecturer at the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London. For, as stated by Brandet, "it cannot be excluded that one or more accomplices may have participated ...". They were clearly targeting the police.
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Police sealed off the area immediately with dozens of emergency vehicles and helicopters buzzed overhead.
Bystanders raise their arms after a shooting in Paris.
"Last night's attack on Paris could have a massive influence on the political front, not only in France but also in the United Kingdom which is also preparing to head to the polls", said Naeem Aslam, Chief Market Analyst at Think Markets.
Archive reports by French newspaper Le Parisien say he was convicted of attacking a police officer in 2001.
The prosecutor added that the man had nothing to do with the attack. She said he appeared to act alone.
BEARDSLEY: Well, the - a spokesman for the interior minister just was out here on the Champs-Elysees speaking with journalists, and he says, we will not release any information about who it is yet.
The attacker was targeting police near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station, a police spokeswoman told the Associated Press.
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