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Car Explodes After Hitting Police Van on Paris's Champs-Elysees

AFP

Updated: June 19, 2017, 9:41 PM IST
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Car Explodes After Hitting Police Van on Paris's Champs-Elysees
Firemen inspect the body of a suspect at the scene of an incident in which a car rammed a gendarmerie van on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris (France) on Monday (Photo: Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes)
Paris: 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.


ALSO READ: Suspect Shot Dead After London Terror Attack Was of Pak-origin, Say Sources



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.


French-Police--875
French police secure the area at the scene of an incident in which a car rammed a gendarmerie van on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, France on June 19, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)


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.


ALSO READ: Six Killed as Terror Strikes London 200km from India-Pak Match Venue


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.

ALSO READ: One Dead, Eight Injured in 'Potential Terrorist Attack' Near London Mosque
First Published: June 19, 2017, 9:28 PM IST
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