Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Donors pledge millions at Uganda refugee summit

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Depp plumbs depths of bad taste

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

France's new frontman, America's absent center, May's Brexit gambit, Saudi royal reshuffle, after Mosul & Raqqa fall

Read more

REVISITED

Senegal’s Casamance hopes for new era of peace

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

FARC disarmament a 'historic day' for Colombia, says president

Read more

FASHION

Cruise collections: All aboard for Dior and Chanel's latest fashions

Read more

ENCORE!

Colombia comes to France

Read more

#THE 51%

The last taboo: Helping women and girls. Period.

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Who benefits when the ice caps melt?

Read more

France

Car rams police van on Paris’s Champs-Élysées in ‘attempted attack’

© Thomas Samson, AFP | Police officers walk across a sealed off area on June 19, 2017 on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris, after a car crashed into a police van before bursting into flames

Video by Alexander AUCOTT

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-06-20

A car loaded with gas canisters rammed into a police van on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris on Monday, leaving the driver dead in what the interior minister said was an "attempted attack".

"Security forces have been targeted in France once again," Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said, calling the incident an "attempted attack".

According to police sources, a Kalashnikov rifle, handguns and gas bottles were later found in the deceased suspect's vehicle. No bystanders or police were hurt and it was not immediately clear how the driver had died.

Bomb squads were deployed to the scene and the Paris prosecutor’s counter-terrorism unit opened an investigation into what is suspected to be a deliberate act.

Police said the car hit the front of the van as it was overtaking a convoy of police vehicles. Footage recorded shortly afterwards then showed orange smoke billowing from the car.

"People were running every which way," said a 51-year-old bystander who gave his name only as Alexandre. "Some shouted at me to get away."

Reporting from the scene, FRANCE 24’s Alexander Aucott said the area had temporarily been on full lockdown, but that traffic had begun circulating again by Monday afternoon. Alcott said the public were asked to stay away from the area near where the crash took place, however, as forensic teams and sniffer dogs were still searching for evidence.

Suspect known to police

Police have identified the suspect as a 31-year-old man from a Paris suburb who had previously been flagged for extremism.

Four members of his family – including his ex-wife, brother, sister in law and father – have been detained.

France has been on high security alert following a series of militant Islamist attacks in recent years, including the shooting of a policeman in an Islamic State (IS) group-claimed attack on a police bus on the Champs-Élysées in April.

Shortly after his election last month, President Emmanuel Macron said his government would ask parliament to extend wider search and arrest powers granted under a state of emergency called after Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers killed 130 people in and around Paris in November 2015.

Some magistrates and human rights groups have protested in recent weeks against the proposal that would enshrine in ordinary law measures currently in place under the state of emergency.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

 

Date created : 2017-06-19

  • FRANCE

    Suspect under formal investigation for links to Champs-Élysées shooting

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    President, Macron and Le Pen attend memorial for slain Champs-Élysées policeman

    Read more

  • FRANCE

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

    Read more

COMMENT(S)