Motor Explosion : Car explodes after hitting police van on Paris's Champs-Elysees

Motor Explosion : Car explodes after hitting police van on Paris's Champs-Elysees

Police took down an armed man after a vehicle intentionally rammed into a police van Monday on the iconic Champs-Elysees in central Paris, authorities said. Gerard Collomb, France's interior minister, explained to reporters that the suspects vehicle contained weapons and explosives.

Gerard Collomb told reporters that the man's motives were not immediately clear.

No police officers or passers-by were hurt, the Paris police department said. It is unclear why the attacker drove into police, though officials said the incident was apparently deliberate.

Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said police had pulled the driver out of the flaming vehicle and he was "very likely dead".

It also marks the second time this year that Paris' most famous avenue, renowned for its shopping, dining and monuments, has been the scene of bloodshed.

He tried to drive a auto into a police van on the Champs-Elysees, armed with a Kalashnikov, handguns and gas bottles which were were found in his vehicle.

France has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris.

BREAKING: Paris officials: Suspected attacker "downed" after driving into police vehicle on Champs-Elysees.

German minister sees hope of 'soft' Brexit
It is also 82 days after Theresa May sent a letter formally notifying the European Council of Britain's intention to withdraw. The UK is unable to sign such deals while it remains a member of the European Union but can explore options and develop ties.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet says the driver whose auto exploded as he tried to ram a police vehicle is "most probably" dead.

Eric Favereau, a journalist for Liberation newspaper who was driving a scooter behind the gendarmes, said he saw a auto blocking the convoy's path, then an implosion in the vehicle. Favereau wrote that the officers smashed open the windows of the auto while it was in flames and dragged out its occupant. "They took the man out and put him a bit farther away (from the car) on the other side of the road", she said.

The announcement on a police Twitter account advised the public to avoid the area, and came after people took to social media to report that a auto had caught fire in the area.

Visitors to an art exhibit of Auguste Rodin's works in central Paris were confined inside the Grand Palais for an hour after an attacker rammed into a police convoy on the nearby Champs-Elysees.

No one else was injured despite the crowds of tourists and others walking down the avenue on a hot, sunny day, Paris police said.

The Minister said the security threat to France remained "at its highest level" and that he would be ensuring that the State of Emergency "remains in place permanently for the foreseeable future".

"We were better off inside than outside", Chrystel said.

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