Posts Tagged ‘Champs Elysees’

Trucks, vans used to block Paris roads to protest cancelled Champs-Élysées Christmas fair

November 6, 2017

AFP

© Twitter, @moy_celine | Traffic jams were developing mainly on roads in the south, east and west of Paris on Monday, November 6, 2017, as a result of the go-slow.

Text by Louise NORDSTROM 

Latest update : 2017-11-06

Several dozen fair workers on Monday staged a go-slow on main roads around Paris, heavily disrupting traffic as they protested the city’s decision to cancel the annual Christmas fair on the famed Champs-Élysées avenue.

Drivers of trucks and vans gathered at dawn for the “operation escargot” go-slow on roads leading to and from the capital. By 9am, police reported that traffic jams were developing mainly in the south, east and west of Paris.

The City of Paris in July voted against renewing French “funfair king” Marcel Campion’s contract to manage the annual Christmas fair on the Champs-Élysées avenue, after criticisms the market was too commercialised and “mediocre” in quality. In its decision the city said it was cancelling the fair “in its current form”, calling instead for alternative ways to animate the famed avenue during the end of the year celebrations.

The City of Paris “wants to focus on offering visitors and Parisians more attractive and innovative events that will enhance the Champs-Élysées in a cultural and aesthetic dimension in keeping with this exceptional site”, it said in its decision.

“We want local and sustainable [products]. This is not what we’ve seen … This is why we’re ending it.”

Le discret Best Western Plus @Elysee_Secret est tout proche du marché de Noël des Champs-Elysées de @Paris. Ce soir le cadeau, c’est vous.

Monday’s protest stirred up a lot of emotion on social media. While some drivers vented their frustration over the traffic disruption, others lambasted the market that has occupied the capital’s famed avenue for nearly a decade.

Matteu Maestracci, a presenter for French broadcaster France Info, tweeted that the fair workers ought to thank the city for cancelling “the ugly Christmas market for tourists with its fake, bad and expensive products”.

“Like the famous ‘Corsican’ stands whose Cantal-accent [merchants] sell you a ‘local’ €30 sausage that’s been produced in Vosges [in the east],” he wrote.

Others voiced their support of Campion and the protest. Florian Philippot, the former key aide of far right politician Marine Le Pen, tweeted his “total support of fair workers who defend their jobs and the Christmas market against [Paris Mayor] Anne Hidalgo who doesn’t like either fairs or Christmas”.

Et puis Hidalgo elle aime pas non plus les voitures, les immeubles gris, les hommes d’1m87 et le café américain.  

Campion has been running the fair since 2008. According to organisers, the 240-stand Christmas fair attracts some 15 million visitors a year, creating around 2,000 jobs.

Campion is no stranger to disputes with the City of Paris. Earlier this year he was indicted over the installation of his Paris Big Wheel on Place de la Concorde in the centre of the capital and the conditions under which he was awarded the permit in 2015.

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French police hold 4 family members of Champs-Elysees assailant

June 20, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | Adam Dzaziri was killed when he rammed a car loaded with guns and a gas bottle into a police van on the Champs-Elysees in Paris

PARIS (AFP) – French police have taken into custody four members of the family of a radicalised Islamist who was killed when he rammed a car loaded with guns and a gas bottle into a police van on the Champs-Elysees, a judicial source said Tuesday.

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The ex-wife, brother and sister-in-law of Adam Dzaziri were detained late on Monday afternoon after police questioned them at the family home outside Paris.

The assailant’s father was also “taken into custody during the evening”, the source said.

Dzaziri was killed in Monday’s attack, but there were no other casualties.

French police secure the area on the Champs Elysees avenue after an incident in Paris (Reuters/G.Fuentes)

Sources close to the probe said he had been on France’s security watchlist since 2015 over ties to “the radical Islamist movement”.

The suspect’s father told AFP that his son “had a registered weapon, he practised shooting”. A source close to the case said the 31-year-old had a firearms permit.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the assault, which occurred just a short distance from where a jihadist shot dead a police officer two months earlier.

France remains under a state of emergency imposed after the November 2015 attacks in Paris, when Islamic State jihadists slaughtered 130 people in a night of carnage at venues across the city.

The latest attack came two days before the French government is to unveil a new anti-terrorism law, designed to allow the state of emergency to be lifted.

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Paris cordons off Champs Elysees after car hits police van — Bursts into flames

June 19, 2017

BBC News

Police patrol security cordon on Champs Elysee in Paris on 19 JuneImage copyrightREUTERS

A car has crashed into a police van before bursting into flames around the Champs Elysees area of central Paris, police officials say. Reuters

The driver, who was armed, was knocked unconscious and is seriously injured, French media report.

Police say the situation is now under control, and neither law enforcement nor civilians were injured.

France is currently in a state of emergency after being hit by a wave of deadly terror attacks in recent years.

A policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in an attack on the Champs Elysees in April, just days before the presidential election.

The national police Twitter account had earlier said (in French) that there was an “ongoing police operation”, warning people to respect the security cordon.

French media, quoting police sources, say the act was deliberate.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40332532

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PARIS (AFP) – A car burst into flames after it crashed into a police van on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on Monday, police and investigators said, adding that the driver was armed and it appeared to be a “deliberate” act.

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

Police had said earlier that the driver of the Renault Megane was “seriously injured” and “on the ground… unconscious.”

No police or bystanders were injured in the incident near the Grand Palais exhibition hall.

“Apparently, it’s a deliberate act,” a source close to the investigation said.

Anti-terrorism prosecutors have opened an investigation.

Police have closed two of the metro stations on the Champs-Elysees, a major tourist draw in the French capital.

The incident came just two months after a policeman was shot and killed on the world-renowned avenue, three days before the first round of France’s presidential election.

A note praising the Islamic State group was found next to the body of the gunman, Karim Cheurfi, in that incident.

Police later found other weapons in Cheurfi’s car including a shotgun and knives.

– String of attacks –

The incident on Monday was the latest in a string of attacks in London and Paris.

Two weeks ago jihadists used a van and knives to crush and kill eight people enjoying a night out in the British capital. Three of the victims were French.

Four days later, a hammer-wielding Algerian man was shot and wounded by police after he struck an officer on the head in front of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

In a video found at his home, he had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

In London on Monday, a van ploughed into a crowd of Muslims near a London mosque early on Monday, leaving one person dead and injuring 10 others in the second terror attack this month in the British capital.

France is still under a state of emergency imposed after the November 2015 attacks in Paris, when Islamic State jihadists killed 130 people in a night of carnage at venues across the city.

Previous major attacks targeted the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in January 2015 and in November that year, gunmen and suicide bombers attacked venues around Paris including the Bataclan concert hall, killing 130 people in all.

by Gina DOGGETT

Questions remain over Champs-Élysées attacker’s links to IS group

April 22, 2017

AFP

© PHILIPPE LOPEZ, AFP | People lay flowers at the site of a shooting on the Champs-Élysées in Paris on April 21, 2017, a day after a gunman opened fire on police on the avenue, killing a policeman.

Text by Ségolène ALLEMANDOU

Latest update : 2017-04-22

Two days after an attack on Paris’s Champs-Élysées that left one police officer dead, questions remain about the shooter, his ties to terrorism, and whether he had accomplices.

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility about two hours after the attack, which took place on Paris’s Champs-Élysées avenue. A statement published by the terrorist group’s progaganda agency identified the attacker as “Abu Yussef the Belgian”.

However, French authorities on Friday identified the attacker, who was killed in the assault, as Karim Cheurfi, a 39-year-old French citizen who lived in the suburbs of Paris and was known to French authorities.

The discrepancy in the reports led to speculation about who really carried out the attack. Was there a second attacker? If so, were they on the loose?

No second attacker is known

Rumours had spread on Twitter Thursday night that a Belgian man named Youssouf el Osri, who was wanted by Belgian authorities, had travelled on a Thalys train to Paris. Some Twitter users implied that he was linked to the Champs-Élysées attack. Was this the “Yussef the Belgian” that the IS group later referred to?

El Osri gave himself up at a police station in Antwerp, Belgium, Friday morning. The Belgian public prosecutor said that on Thursday evening el Osri had been in Belgium — not in Paris — and “ruled out” any link between him and the Champs-Élysées attack.

Terror suspect sought in wake of Champs Elysées attack has turned himself to police – AFP.

The Belgian prosecutor offered two theories. Either “there really is an ‘Abu Yussef the Belgian’ – and we are trying to identify who this is – or the IS group took advantage of the fact that the man from Antwerp was already in the news, especially in France, in order to name him when they claimed responsibility for the attack”.

Or did the IS group make a mistake? Their claim of responsibility was unusual for two reasons. Firstly, the Islamist group rarely names attackers, instead referring to them as “soldiers of IS”. Secondly, the speed with which they put out their statement was also unusual. The IS group more typically claims responsibility 12 to 48 hours after an attack.

Radicalised or not?

Did Karim Cheurfi have any other links to radical Islam? Cheurfi comes from Seine-Saint-Denis, to the northeast of Paris, and last lived in Chelles, a suburb 18 kilometres east of Paris.

He spent 14 years in prison on three counts of attempted murder, including of police officers, but “didn’t show any signs of radicalisation or proselytising”, according to Paris Prosecutor François Molins.

Reuters reported Thursday night that Cheurfi was on France’s official Fiche S watch list of those being monitored by security services, but this turned out to be false.

Cheurfi’s neighbours said that he nourished a “hatred” of the police, and that he was “suffering psychologically”. French anti-terrorism researchers knew as early as the beginning of 2016 that Cheurfi was trying to buy weapons, and that he wanted to kill police in revenge for children killed in Syria.

However, Cheurfi’s name did appear on a list of some 15,000 “radicalised” people, kept by France’s domestic intelligence agency (Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure or DGSI).

The note

The other link between Cheurfi and the IS group is a handwritten note praising the terrorist group found next to Cheurfi’s body after he was killed by the police. But the IS group has encouraged would-be attackers to leave such notes to enable the group to claim responsibility.

Three men close to Cheurfi who are currently being held by police for questioning may provide more answers. One of the men met Cheurfi in prison and has an extensive criminal record.

This article was translated from the original in French

Champs-Élysées shooting suspect showed ‘no sign’ of radicalisation — Paris Prosecutor

April 22, 2017

AFP, FRANCE 24 and Reuters

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© Martin Bureau, AFP | Paris Prosecutor François Molins gives a press conference on April 18 following the arrest of two men in Marseille on suspicion of planning an attack.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-04-21

The suspect in a gun attack on the Champs-Élysées that left a policeman dead was long known to the police but had shown “no sign” of radicalisation, Paris Prosecutor François Molins said on Friday.

Molins said that investigators were still working to determine if the man had acted in concert with others.

“Investigations will now focus on determining [whether he had] the benefit of possible accomplices,” Molins told the press conference.

He added that the suspect, 39-year-old Karim C., had not been on France’s official Fiche S watch list of those being monitored by security services.

FRANCE 24 correspondent Antoine Mariotti noted that the number of people listed on the Fiche S had tripled in the past two years as France has boosted security after a series of terror attacks.

The shooter opened fire with an automatic weapon on a police van on the famous Champs-Élysées avenue at around 9pm Paris time on Thursday. After killing a police officer and injuring his two colleagues just a few hundred metres from the Arc de Triomphe, the gunman was shot dead while trying to flee on foot, according to the police.

A note found near the suspect’s body had handwritten messages expressing support for the Islamic State group, Molins said. A statement published by its propaganda agency Amaq also said the attacker was “one of the Islamic State’s fighters”.

Soon after, police launched a raid on the suspect’s home in a middle-class neighbourhood in a suburb east of Paris.

Karim C. had previously served nearly 14 years in prison on three counts of attempted murder, including of police officers, as well as for lesser offences.

FRANCE24’s Mariotti said that the suspect’s long criminal history highlights some of the issues being faced by France’s police.

“Police unions say there is a problem because the assailant was convicted several times – saying he wanted to attack the police – but was released anyway,” he explained.

High alert

The bustling Champs-Élysées – which lies in the heart of Paris and is lined with shops, theatres and restaurants – was immediately blocked off after the attack and nearby metro stations were closed.

“We had to hide our customers in the basement,” Choukri Chouanine, manager of a restaurant near the site of the shooting, told AFP, saying there was “lots of gunfire”.

A spokesman for the interior ministry paid tribute to the fast reaction times of the police at the scene who managed to kill the gunman and prevent further bloodshed on a busy spring evening in the capital city.

A foreign tourist was slightly wounded in the knee by shrapnel during the shooting.

France remains in a state of emergency and at its highest terror alert level after a series of terrorist attacks. Gunmen killed 17 in shootings at the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine and a Kosher supermarket in January 2015. Several bars and restaurants in Paris, including the Bataclan concert hall, were targeted in attacks that left 130 dead on November 13 of that same year. A truck rammed through a festive crowd gathered for a Bastille Day fireworks display in Nice in July 2016, leaving more than 80 people dead.

Champs Elysees Paris, News

L’avenue des Champs-Elysées a connu un drame hier soir.
En mémoire du policier tué et… http://fb.me/3YgiMUM4F 

In between there have been a series of smaller attacks, often aimed at the security forces. In February, a man armed with a machete in each hand attacked soldiers on patrol at Paris’s Louvre Museum. In March, a 39-year-old man was killed at Paris’s Orly airport after attacking a soldier.

Thousands of troops and armed police have been deployed to guard tourist hotspots such as the Champs-Élysées or other potential targets, including government buildings and religious sites.

The shooting comes two days after the arrest of two men in the southern city of Marseille with weapons and explosives who were suspected of preparing an attack to disrupt the campaign.

Furthermore, it also comes just three days before France votes in the first round of the presidential elections on Sunday, following a campaign season in which immigration and security have been key issues.

In response to the attack, French President François Hollande promised “absolute vigilance, particularly with regard to the electoral process” and paid tribute to the rapid police response.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP and REUTERS)

Paris attack to have ‘big effect’ on presidential poll: Trump

April 21, 2017

AFP

© AFP/File | A French soldier patrols on the Champs Elysees in Paris after a shooting on April 20, 2017
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President Donald Trump on Friday said a deadly attack in Paris claimed by the Islamic State group “will have a big effect” on France’s upcoming presidential vote.”Another terrorist attack in Paris. The people of France will not take much more of this. Will have a big effect on presidential election!”

Trump tweeted hours after a gunman shot dead a policeman and wounded two others on the world-famous Champs Elysees boulevard.

The attack rocked France’s presidential race Friday with just days to go before one of the closest races in recent memory.

Bloodshed had long been feared ahead of Sunday’s first round of voting after a string of jihadist atrocities since 2015, and shooting on the world-renowned boulevard forced security to the top of the agenda in the campaign.

Three of the four frontrunners called off campaign events planned for Friday in the wake of the attack.

France is in a state of emergency and at its highest possible level of alert since a string of terror attacks that began in 2015, which have killed over 230 people.

Related:

Paris gunman who killed police officer known to security forces — Spent 15 years in prison for shooting officers — On watch list after recent arrest — Informants last month said he was ‘seeking to obtain weapons to kill policemen’

April 21, 2017

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Image may contain: one or more people, tree and outdoor

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Paris Police secure the Champs-Elysees after one police officer was killed and another wounded in a shooting in Paris, France, April 20, 2017. REUTERS – Christian Hartmann

French security services are today facing troubling questions as to how they failed to prevent an ISIS gunman from slaughtering one policeman and wounding two other officers when he was already on a terror watch list.

Champs-Elysees killer Karim Cheurfi had been detained only last month, it has emerged, after informants said he was ‘seeking to obtain weapons to kill policemen’.

But the 39-year-old, who used the war name ‘Abu Yousuf the Belgian’, had to be released because anti-terror police did not have enough evidence to hold him.

The homegrown fanatic, who officials confirmed was a French national despite his nickname, had also been released early from prison – where it is thought he was radicalised – having been jailed for 20 years in 2005 for trying to kill two policemen.

Cheurfi opened fire five times with a .38 revolver following a car chase in 2001, leaving the officers and a third victim wounded.

He had fled on foot before the driver of the other car and the passenger – a trainee police officer – caught up with him. He fired twice, seriously wounding both men in the chest. All three survived the attack in Roissy-en-Brie, in the Seine-et-Marne department of northern France.

Cheurfi was arrested and placed in custody under a false name. Two days later he seriously injured an officer who was taking him out of his cell, seizing his weapon and firing several times.

Two French officials said this morning that Cheurfi was detained in February for threatening police before being freed, although a warrant for his arrest is dated March 6.

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The killer was known to security services in France, according to reports this evening

The killer was known to security services in France, according to reports this evening

One police officer was shot dead and two more seriously injured by a gunman carrying a Kalashnikov in Paris this evening

One police officer was shot dead and two more seriously injured by a gunman carrying a Kalashnikov in Paris this evening

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Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesman for France's Interior Ministry, confirmed that one police officer was dead and two seriously wounded following the 'targeted attack'

Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesman for France’s Interior Ministry, confirmed that one police officer was dead and two seriously wounded following the ‘targeted attack’

The arrest warrant issued for Cheurfi before he was detained at the beginning of last month

The arrest warrant issued for Cheurfi before he was detained at the beginning of last month

The ISIS killer is believed to have been released in 2016 following the triple assassination attempt, at a time when he was known for drug offences, car theft and robbery.

Despite having the nickname ‘Abu Yousuf the Belgian’, Cheurfi was a French national, Belgian interior minister Jan Jambon told public broadcaster VRT.

It has been claimed Cheurfi was making dark threats on messaging app Telegram before launching his attack on the Champs Elysees in Paris last night.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the atrocity, which was carried out with a Kalashnikov weapon. A female foreign terrorist was also injured when a bullet ricocheted off the police car before Cheurfi was shot dead.

The fatal incident unfolded as presidential candidates, including National Front party leader Marine Le Pen, debated on a TV show nearby before Sunday’s election.

French President Francois Hollande said he was convinced it was a terrorist attack, adding that he would hold a security cabinet meeting this morning.

The French-born killer lived in Chelles, a commuter town close to Paris in the Seine-et-Marne department.

In 2003 he was sentenced to 20 years inside a high security prison following the attacks in Roissy-en-Brie, also in Seine-et-Marne.

But he was let out early following an appeal ruling, giving him the freedom to carry out tonight’s attack.

Gunshot-like noise forces BBC crew in Paris to run off the street

WHAT IS TELEGRAM? THE APP ALLEGEDLY USED BY KILLER

The app makers have boasted of security settings which keep messages safe from 'snoopers'

The app makers have boasted of security settings which keep messages safe from ‘snoopers’

Telegram is a messaging app which focuses on speed and security, according to its makers.

It allows users to send messages, photos, videos and files to groups of up to 5,000 and broadcast to unlimited audiences.

A statement on Telegram’s website about security says: ‘Big internet companies like Facebook or Google have effectively hijacked the privacy discourse in the recent years.

‘Their marketers managed to convince the public that the most important things about privacy are superficial tools that allow hiding your public posts or your profile pictures from the people around you. Adding these superficial tools enables companies to calm down the public and change nothing in how they are turning over private data to marketers and other third parties.

‘At Telegram we think that the two most important components of Internet privacy should be instead:

  • Protecting your private conversations from snooping third parties, such as officials, employers, etc
  • Protecting your personal data from third parties, such as marketers, advertisers, etc

‘This is what everybody should care about, and these are some of our top priorities. Telegram’s aim is to create a truly free messenger, without the usual caveats. This means that instead of diverting public attention with low-impact settings, we can afford to focus on the real privacy issues that exist in the modern world.’

Cheurfi was the registered keeper of the grey Audi used in last night’s attack. A raid on his home later found guns and ammunition, intelligence sources said.

He had targeted a parked patrol car full of traffic control officers working to the Paris prefecture.

The officer killed was at the wheel and was having an evening snack at the time of his death.

French television network BFMTV reports that Cheurfi had used the Telegram internet messaging service, which extremists have previously been claimed to favour because of its encryption.

Police are searching the home of the shooter in eastern Paris, and following the attack French presidential candidate Francois Fillon has called for the election campaign to be suspended.

Pierre-Henry Brandet, spokesman for France’s Interior Ministry, confirmed that one police officer was dead and two seriously wounded following the ‘targeted attack’.

He said a ‘car pulled up just after 9pm’ next to a police patrol car which was parked up on the busy avenue.

Police search the car reportedly used in Paris attack

Intelligence sources said the dead assailant was a known radical on a so-called S-file, for 'State-security'

Intelligence sources said the dead assailant was a known radical on a so-called S-file, for ‘State-security’

Police officers searched the home of the suspected gunman in east Paris following the attack in the capital on Thursday 

Police officers searched the home of the suspected gunman in east Paris following the attack in the capital on Thursday

Officers searched the home of the suspected gunman on Thursday evening after they travelled to his home in the east part of the capital 

Officers searched the home of the suspected gunman on Thursday evening after they travelled to his home in the east part of the capital

A man jumped out with a weapon and started firing indiscriminately into the police vehicle, hitting the unidentified officer who died directly in the head.

The assailant then ran off, pursued by other officers. Two of them were wounded as they killed him.

Mr Brandet said ‘all lines of investigation were being pursued’, while intelligence sources said the dead assailant was a known radical on a so-called S-file, for ‘State-security’.

This means he would have been under surveillance, because he was a known risk to the country.

Mr Brandet later said a possible accomplice had turned himself over to Belgian police, but it was ‘too early to say’ if he had played a significant part in the attack.

President Hollande, speaking from the Elysee palace close to the scene of the shooting, said: ‘A national tribute will be paid to this policeman who was killed in such a cowardly way.

‘A passerby was hit. The assailant was neutralised by other police officers. The entire area has been cordoned off. The people present have been evacuated.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4430542/Paris-killer-talked-wanting-kill-Telegram.html#ixzz4esXKdx3z
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Updated 9:35 PM ET, Thu April 20, 2017

Paris (CNN)  A man who killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees Thursday night was known to French security services for radical Islamist activities and had shot and wounded an officer in the past, a source close to the investigation told CNN.

The suspect, who was shot dead by French police, was the subject of a “Fiche S” surveillance file and was on the radar of the French domestic security service DGSI, the source said.
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The man was a French national who shot two officers in 2001 after being stopped by a police car, the source said. He was taken into custody but while being questioned grabbed another officer’s gun and shot him three times, the source said. He was convicted in that attack and had a criminal record because of involvement in violent robberies, the source said.
The source said French investigators now believe this was in all likelihood a terrorist attack. They believe there was just one attacker, and the danger is likely over, the source said.
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ISIS issued a statement saying an Islamic State “fighter” carried out the attack. The ISIS claim comes via a statement released by the group’s media wing, Amaq. The ISIS statement identified the attacker and called him “the Belgian.” CNN has not confirmed the attacker’s association with Belgium.
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Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins said he will reveal the shooter’s identity on Friday at a news conference. He said officers are searching the man’s residence in Chelles, Seine-et-Marne, a Paris suburb, and are trying to determine if he had accomplices.
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The shooting has not officially been declared a terrorist act but anti-terrorist forces are leading the investigation, French President Francois Hollande said.
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“The people who were present have been evacuated and we are convinced that the leads which point us to this case, and which will allow us to uncover the truth, are of a terrorist nature,” he said.

Elections on Sunday

The shooting happened about 9 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) when a car stopped at 102 Champs-Elysees in front of a police van, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre Henry Brandet said.
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A man emerged from the car and opened fire on the van with an “automatic weapon,” killing one officer instantly, he said. The man “then ran away, managing to shoot and wound two other policemen. Other policemen engaged and shot and killed the attacker,” Brandet said.
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The slain officer was 30 years old, Molin said. One of the wounded officers was critically injured but is improving, he said. Also wounded was a female tourist.
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The shooting shut down the famed Champs-Elysees, one of Paris’ top tourist attractions and home to the iconic Arc de Triomphe monument. The avenue was clear of residents and tourists but teeming with security officers Thursday night.
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It comes three days before French voters start elections for a new president. Candidates went ahead with a debate Thursday night.
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France has been in a state of emergency since the 2015 Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead. Parliament voted in December to extend the extraordinary provisions to ensure the protection of upcoming presidential and general elections.
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Security has been tight because of the vote. Just two days ago French authorities arrested two men in Marseille who were allegedly planning an attack in a run-up to the election.
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Police officers block access to the Champs-Elysees.

At least three underground train stations of the Paris Metro — the Champs-Elysees-Clemenceau, George V and F. Roosevelt stations — have been “closed off” near the site of the police operation on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, BFMTV reported.

Trump: ‘What can you say?’

Paris resident Daoud Kal, 29, said he was walking in the area near a metro station when he heard four to five shots. He looked around, but couldn’t identify where the shots were coming from. People panicked and ran away from the scene and he joined them.
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The CNN Paris bureau is on this street and staffers reported hearing a dozen shots. At least 20 police vehicles were seen on the street.
Officers could be seen forcibly removing innocent citizens from the area as they attempted to get them to safety.
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President Donald Trump, speaking at a news conference in Washington with the visiting Italian Prime Minister, offered condolences to the people of France after the shooting, saying it “looks like another terrorist attack.”
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“What can you say? It never ends,” the President said.
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The Champs-Elysees is a main road lined with restaurants, cafes, exclusive designer boutiques and tourist shops. At one end is the Arc de Triomphe, surrounded by a several-lane-wide roundabout, and the other end stops at the Place de la Concorde, known for its obelisk monument.
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The presidential palace, the Elysee, is a few blocks away.
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French police tweeted, “Police intervention underway in the area of the #ChampsElysees avoid the sector and follow the instructions of the police forces.”

French candidates respond

The US State Department put out a cautionary tweet, saying: “If you’re in #Paris, monitor local news. #ChampsElysees has been closed. Authorities are telling people to avoid the area after a shooting.”

One police officer was killed in a shooting on the Champs-Elysees.

The shooting comes three days before French general elections and Paris was already in a state of heightened alert. French politicians immediately reacted on social media.
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French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen tweeted, “My emotions and solidarity for the police, once again targeted.”
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Conservative French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon tweeted, “Paying homage to police who give their lives to protect ours, #ChampsElysees.”
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Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve tweeted: “Paying homage to the policeman killed on the champs elysees. Thoughts are with his family. Solidarity with his injured colleagues and those close to them.”
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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy tweeted: “To our law enforcement: support, strength, courage. They are paying again a heavy price. Our Nation’s tribute must be total NS”
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Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo tweeted: “We won’t give up, not bow and remain united facing these odious and insidious threats that weigh on our cities.”
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She also extended a message of solidarity and thanks to the retailers on the Champs-Elysees who gave people shelter during the attack.
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This developing story has been updated to clarify details about the attacker’s nationality.
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http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/20/europe/champs-elyses-in-paris-closed/

French police hunting second suspect after Paris attack: official

April 21, 2017

Reuters

French police were on Friday hunting a second suspect in connection with the fatal shooting of a policeman in Paris, French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

Masked police stand on top of their vehicle on the Champs Elysees Avenue after a policeman was killed and two others were wounded in a shooting incident in Paris, France, April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Speaking on Europe 1 radio after Thursday’s shootout on the Champs Elysees shopping street, in which an assailant was also killed, Brandet said a second man had been identified by Belgian security officials and flagged to French authorities.

(Reporting by Yves Clarisse; Writing by Andrew Callus; Editing by Laurence Frost)

Bomb Explodes at International Monetary Fund in Paris Bureau — Letter bomb injures one employee

March 16, 2017

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the fund was working with French authorities to investigate

Police outside the International Monetary Fund (IMF) offices where an envelope exploded in Paris, France, 16 March

Police descended on the area after the blast at the IMF. Reuters photo

March 16, 2017 8:49 a.m. ET

An International Monetary Fund staff member was injured in an explosion at the institution’s Paris bureau, the head of the IMF said Thursday.

Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the IMF was working with French authorities to investigate the cause.

“I condemn this cowardly act of violence and reaffirm the IMF’s resolve to continue our work in line with our mandate,” Ms. Lagarde said in a statement in Frankfurt, where she is attending a conference ahead of a finance meeting of the Group of 20 largest economies.

Police outside the International Monetary Fund offices where an envelope exploded in Paris

Police outside the International Monetary Fund (IMF) offices where an envelope exploded in Paris, France, March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer
.

A senior police official in Paris said the explosion was caused by a large firecracker.

The IMF employee who opened the package was injured on the hands and face, another police officer said.

Write to Ian Talley at ian.talley@wsj.com

https://www.wsj.com/articles/imf-chief-explosion-at-paris-bureau-injured-staff-member-1489668570

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Letter bomb at IMF’s Paris office injures woman employee
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BBC News

Paris IMF letter bomb injures one employee

The IMF building is near the Arc de Triomphe, in the heart of the French capital

A letter bomb has exploded at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) office in Paris, injuring the employee who opened it, police say.

The IMF employee received hand and face injuries, and staff were evacuated.

IMF director Christine Lagarde condemned the “cowardly act of violence” against IMF staff.

In another development, the German finance ministry in Berlin intercepted a parcel bomb sent to Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Wednesday.

A Greek far-left group, the Conspiracy of Fire Cells, said on a website that it had sent the German device.

Mnuchin visit

Ms Lagarde said in a statement that the IMF was working closely with the French authorities to investigate the letter blast.

Unnamed police sources quoted by local newspaper Le Parisien said the device may have been a firework.

The letter was delivered by post, the Paris police prefect was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency, but its origin was not given immediately.

The office is located on the Avenue Iena, in a central district of the city centre near the Champs Elysees.

The IMF is one of three organisations, along with the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB), which bailed out the Greek government after it came close to defaulting on its debts.

In Germany, Mr Schaeuble is due to host the new US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, later on Thursday.

The device sent to his ministry, which was intercepted in the mailroom, was designed to cause “severe injuries” when it was opened, local police said in a statement quoted by AFP news agency.

A Greek police source quoted by the same agency said the package had had a Greek stamp.

Its “sender” was given as a deputy leader of the opposition New Democracy party along with his real address, AFP added.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39292671

Video shows Paris attackers committing earlier atrocities — threatens to attack Britain

January 25, 2016

The Associated Press

PARIS — A new video released by the Islamic State group purports to show the militants who carried out the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris committing atrocities in IS-controlled territory while plotting the slaughter in the French capital that left 130 people dead and hundreds wounded. The group also threatens to attack Britain.

The 17-minute video, which was released Sunday, shows the extent of the planning that went into the multiple attacks in Paris, which French authorities have said from the beginning were planned in Syria. It also is likely meant to serve as a recruitment tool to rally followers to the extremists’ sinister cause. The video was provided online by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi websites.

All nine militants seen in the video died in the Paris attacks or their aftermath. Seven of the attackers — four from Belgium and three from France — spoke fluent French. The two others — identified by their noms de guerre as Iraqis — spoke in Arabic.

Seven of the militants, including a 20-year-old who was the youngest of the group, were filmed standing behind bound captives, described as “apostates,” who were either beheaded or shot.

“Soon on the Champs-Elysees,” says Samy Amimour, who was raised in a Paris suburb near the French national stadium, as he holds a captive’s head aloft.

The Nov. 13 attacks targeted a packed concert hall, a restaurant and cafe, and a soccer match at the national stadium.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said the government is studying the video but would not comment on its contents. France’s Interior Ministry and the Paris prosecutor’s office had no immediate comment.

The video was apparently filmed before the men sneaked back into Europe and contains no footage shot by the attackers during the days of terror that began Nov. 13 and ended only on Nov. 18 with the death of Abdelhamid Abbaoud, who was believed to be the leader of the attacks.

Abaaoud died in a police raid on an apartment near the Stade de France.

Instead, it was assembled from material shot before the men left for Paris, news video and amateur video. The video did not specify where the nine men were filmed, but it was believed to have been in IS-controlled territory in Syria. Abbaoud is seen simply speaking in a room.

One militant, Brahim Abdeslam, is seen at a makeshift shooting range. Abdeslam, whose brother Salah fled Paris that night and remains at large, blew himself up at a Paris cafe where he was the only victim. Salah Abdeslam is not seen in the video.

According to the anti-islamic State activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, Brahim Abdeslam and two other attackers were trained in Raqqa, the extremist group’s stronghold and the capital of its self-proclaimed caliphate.

In the video, as in other Islamic State propaganda trying to drive a wedge between European Muslims and their governments, the men say it is a religious duty to join them.

They threaten more attacks in Europe, and the footage closes with one of the militants holding a severed head and footage of Cameron giving a speech — with a text in English warning that whoever stands with the unbelievers “will be a target for our swords.”

The video was released by Alhayat, the Islamic State group’s media arm.