Searches underway in fatal attack on Paris police

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PARIS (AP) - France's anti-terrorism prosecutor says that searches are under way after an attack on police guarding the Champs-Elysees shopping district in Paris.

Prosecutor Francois Molins said that investigators have verified the identity of the gunman in Thursday night's attack and are trying to determine whether he had accomplices. The identity was not released.

Three police officials say at least one location in the eastern Paris suburbs was being searched early Friday.

One police officer and the attacker were killed in the incident.

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12:00 a.m.

France's presidential candidates have expressed their solidarity with police forces following the shootings of three officers in Paris.

The 11 candidates were appearing on a television program ahead of the first round of voting in the two-part election when the attack that left one officer dead happened Thursday night.

Conservative contender Francois Fillon said on France 2 television he was canceling his planned campaign stops on Friday.

Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen took to Twitter to offer her sympathy for law enforcement officers "once again targeted."

Centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron offered his thoughts to the family of the dead officer.

Socialist Benoit Hamon tweeted his "full support" to police against terrorism.

The first round of the presidential race is scheduled on Sunday. The two top contenders will advance to a runoff on May 7.

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11:45 p.m.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the shooting on Paris' Champs Elysees that killed a police officer and left two others gravely wounded.

In a statement from its Amaq news agency, the group gave a pseudonym for the shooter indicating he was Belgian.

The attacker opened fire on a police van on the avenue before being killed.

The claim of responsibility came unusually swiftly for the group, which has been losing territory in Iraq and Syria.

And the pseudonym, Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki, indicated that the attacker already had ties of some sort to Islamic State extremists.

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11:25 p.m.

French President Francois Hollande says he is convinced the circumstances surrounding the attack on Paris police officers points to a terrorist act.

Hollande said after one officer was killed and two others seriously wounded on the grand Champs-Elysees boulevard Thursday night he is "convinced" the investigation indicates terrorism.

He did not elaborate.

Hollande says has convened a National Defense and Security Council to meet on Friday morning.

The council consists of top security, police and military officials and several members of government.

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11:10 p.m.

A French government spokesman says the assailant who opened fire on a Paris police van was armed with an automatic firearm akin to a "war weapon."

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said no tourists or pedestrians were injured during the Thursday night attack that left one officer dead and two seriously wounded.

Police say the attacker was shot dead by an officer or officers.

Brandet refused to give any specific detail about the suspect's possible criminal history or affiliations.

He says the assailant's identity has not been formally confirmed .

Brandet says while witnesses have described only one gunman, the possibility of accomplices can't be ruled out.

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An attacker with an automatic weapon opened fire on police in Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees shopping district Thursday night, killing one officer and seriously wounding two others before police shot and killed him.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted officers guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station at the center of the avenue popular with tourists. She said he appeared to be acting alone.

Police and soldiers sealed off the area, ordering tourists back into their hotels and blocking people from approaching the scene. The Paris prosecutor's office said counterterrorism investigators are involved in the probe.

The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France's tense presidential election. Security is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack.

In Thursday's attack, French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a car and opened fire on a police vehicle. He said officers were "deliberately" targeted.

Speaking in Washington during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, U.S. President Donald Trump said the shooting in Paris "looks like another terrorist attack" and sent condolences to France.

Emergency vehicles blocked the wide avenue that cuts across central Paris between the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Gardens, normally packed with cars and tourists. Subway stations were closed off.

Security forces are more widespread in Paris since deadly Islamic extremist attacks in recent years, and France remains under a state of emergency.

French President Francois Hollande scheduled an emergency meeting Thursday night.

The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month.

A witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM that she heard a shooting and saw a man's body on the ground before police quickly evacuated the area where she works in a shop.

A French television station hosting a televised event with the 11 candidates running for president briefly interrupted its broadcast to report the shootings.

None of the candidates immediately commented.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Previous Story

Paris police and soldiers have sealed off the area around the Champs-Elysees after an attack on police, ordering tourists back into their hotels and blocking people from approaching the scene.

Emergency vehicles blocked the wide avenue that cuts across central Paris between the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Gardens, normally packed with cars and tourists.

Subway stations in the area were closed off on Thursday night while police secure the scene.

Security forces are more widespread in Paris since deadly Islamic extremist attacks in recent years, and France remains under a state of emergency.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Previous Story

Paris police say a gunman has killed a police officer and wounded another before being killed himself in an attack on the Champs-Élysées shopping district.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station Thursday night at the center of the avenue popular with tourists.

The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France's tense presidential election. Security is high preceding the vote after police said they arrested two men Tuesday in what they described as a thwarted terror attack.

A witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM that she heard a shooting and saw a man's body on the ground before police quickly evacuated the area where she works in a shop.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Previous Story

Paris police say that a gunman killed one police officer and wounded another before being killed himself in an attack on the Champs-Élysées shopping district.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station Thursday night at the center of the avenue popular with tourists.

The attack came three days before the first round of France's tense presidential election. Security is high around the vote after France has been attacked in recent years.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)



 

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