World Media

Paris shooting: Gunman was under investigation for terrorism links, local media reports

Paris shooting: Gunman was under investigation for terrorism links, local media reports

"The identity of the attacker is known and has been checked".

At 9 p.m., the officers were stopped at a traffic light on the Champs-Elysees - a bustling boulevard popular with tourists and famed for its luxury stores and eateries.

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

Spokesperson of the French interior ministry Pierre-Henry Brandet told local broadcaster BFMTV that the police officers were "deliberately targeted".

Mr Brandet said the shooting started at shortly after 9pm when a vehicle stopped alongside a stationary police auto.

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A poll earlier this week found that more than half of French police officers plan to cast their vote for her at the election this weekend. In the early hours of Friday, authorities searched a home in a suburb of Paris believed to be the gunman's residence.

"I came out of the Sephora shop and I was walking along the pavement...."

And over a decade ago in 2003 he was jailed for 20 years after opening fire on two cops when he was caught in a stolen vehicle, "grievously hurting them", according to police sources. "As soon as the policeman opened the door of the van, he fell".

Witness Ogur Yilmaz told Eleanor he was leaving a cafe when he heard "two or three shots" and saw people fleeing. He then tried to shoot other police officers while running, before being shot down.

U.S. president Donald Trump, speaking at a press conference in Washington, said the incident "looks like another terrorist attack" and sent his condolences to France.

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Police urged the public to avoid the area as hundreds of heavily armed police are reported to be out in force on the Champs Elysee.

The Champs Elysees attack comes just before France's presidential elections.

Authorities would remain on the highest alert, especially for possible threats to the election, he said.

Earlier on Friday, Brandet said in an interview on Europe1 radio that French police are now looking for a man who has been identified by Belgian security services in connection with the shooting. Officials said the suspect had previously been flagged as an extremist.

French presidential candidate Francois Fillon suspended the events he had planned on Friday.

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