Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump addresses Paris incident: Looks like a terrorist attack

Trump addresses Paris incident: Looks like a terrorist attack

At least one police officer was killed, and the attacker was neutralised in the shooting, according to CNN affiliate BFMTV and the French Interior Ministry.

The Frenchman was convicted in 2003 of attempted murder in the shooting of two police officers.

French President Francois Hollande held an emergency meeting with the prime minister Thursday night and planned to convene the defence council Friday morning. He said the entire area is on lockdown and a full investigation will be carried out to figure out the motive.

French President Francois Hollande said he was convinced the attack was an act of terrorism, and Islamic State quickly claimed the gunman was one of their own.

A French Interior Ministry spokesperson said the incident began in the early evening, when the attacker started shooting at police officers stationed on the famed shopping destination in Central Paris.

A vehicle stopped near a police van before the attack and was found abandoned. "Other policemen engaged and shot and killed the attacker", Brandet said.

"I can tell you that, according to the initial findings, police were targeted directly", Brandet said in a statement.

The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France's tense presidential election. ISIS has claimed responsibility.

US President Donald Trump said: 'It looks like another terrorist attack.

During the campaign, Trump notably seized on terror attacks as evidence that his warnings about the dangers of "radical Islamic terrorism" were validated. Police are at this hour searching the accused gunman's house in East Paris.

Security is high around the vote after France has been attacked in recent years.

Police officers block the access to the Champs Elysees in Paris after a shooting on April 20, 2017.

Roads to the heart of the French capital and Arc de Triomphe have been blocked off by police, and it is recommended that people avoid the area altogether.

The Nice attack followed an assault with guns and bombs on several locations in Paris in November 2015, which killed 130 and wounded hundreds, and the shooting at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.

France, which has suffered from a wave of bloodshed over the past two years killing more than 230 people, has long feared an attack on the presidential election, the first round of which takes place on Sunday.

Witness Ogur Yilmaz told Eleanor he was leaving a cafe when he heard "two or three shots" and saw people fleeing.

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