Paris Police Shot on Champs-Elysees; IS Group Claims Attack

Paris Police Shot on Champs-Elysees; IS Group Claims Attack

One police officer is dead and another two seriously injured following the attack on the iconic Champs Elysees boulevard, just three days before France heads to the polls to elect a new president. A gunman got out, shot three police officers.

So close to the presidential election, "the country's on edge", Eleanor says, adding that thousands of police officers are on the streets. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the shooting.

He had been convicted in 2005 of three counts of attempted murder, with two of these against police officers, sources said.

"We are suffering the consequences of a laxity that has continued for years", she said shortly before the shooting, promising to take a hard line against extremists and anyone suspected of being an Islamist.

The shooting happened just after 9 p.m. Thursday, after a vehicle pulled up next to a police auto sitting at a stop light. One of the officers died on the scene.

The shooting happened about 9 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) when a auto stopped at 102 Champs-Elysees in front of a police van, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre Henry Brandet said.

Several of the attackers behind the November 2015 attack in Paris, which left 130 people dead and hundreds more injured, were finally discovered at the Brussels neighbourhood of Molenbeek.

The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France's tense presidential election. He has been identified as a 39-year-old man from an eastern Paris suburb, though police have not yet released his name. He says counterterrorism authorities are investigating. But anti-terror prosecutors didn't believe they had enough evidence, so they "let him go". The ISIS statement said the attacker was a Belgian national and cited "security sources".

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for the shooting, in which a French policeman was shot dead, via its Amaq news agency, naming the attacker as Abu Yousif al-Belgiki - "the Belgian" in Arabic. What can you say - it never ends.

Champs-Elysees was closed off immediately following the attack. Subway stations were closed off.

Pence in Indonesia With Trade on Agenda
Jakarta also scrubbed JP Morgan from its list of primary bond dealers after what was deemed a negative research report . In your nation as in mine, religion unifies - it doesn't divide.

What have world leaders said?

And Eleanor, what more can you tell us about this incident?

Speaking in Indonesia, the U.S.' Vice President Mike Pence said the attack was just the latest reminder "that terrorism can strike anywhere at anytime".

"We shall be of the utmost vigilance, especially in relation to the election", said President Hollande, who is not himself running for re-election.

How will this affect the election?

One leading presidential candidate, National Front's Marine Le Pen, is campaigning against mass Muslim migration and has been repeatedly warning of a terror attack.

A French television station hosting a televised event with the 11 candidates running for president briefly interrupted its broadcast to report the shootings. In response to the incident, the far-right Le Pen tweeted: "Once again, it was our policemen who were targeted and paid the price of blood in the fight against Islamism".

French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted that his thoughts were with the officers and their colleagues and families.

Brandet said officers were "deliberately" targeted, as has happened repeatedly to French security forces in recent years, including in the run-up to the 2012 election.

According to the AP, more than 50,000 police and gendarmes are mobilized to protect Sunday's first-round vote, with an additional 7,000 soldiers also on patrol. "The Government is fully mobilised", he said in a statement, ABC reports. "It falls to us not to give in to fear and intimidation and manipulation which would play into the hands of the enemy".

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