Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Anti-terror probe opened in Paris car attack

French police officers engage with a suspect outside a vehicle at the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France June 19, 2017 in this still image obtained from social media.

A vehicle loaded with gas bottles and guns rammed into a police van in Paris leaving the driver dead in what the interior minister said was an "attempted attack".

A Kalashnikov rile, handguns and gas bottles were found in the vehicle, sources told AFP.

A man drove a auto that contained weapons and explosives into a French gendarmerie van in the center of Paris on Monday and died in the incident, without hurting police or passers-by.

This was the fifth time in the past four months that French police have been targeted in Paris.

A person is seen on the ground as a police officer is seen in the foreground on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Monday, June 19, 2017.

A suspected attacker is dead after driving into a police vehicle on the Champs-Elysees, officials in Paris have said.

The local mayor Sylvain Tanguy said the family was "very discreet and didn't go out much".

"By God's grace, we were able to protect him from harm", Mahmoud said.

Bomb squad officers are at the scene on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists.

France has been on high alert after a wave of militant Islamist attacks over the past two years, including most recently an attack on police outside the Notre Dame Cathedral and an Islamic State-claimed attack on police on the Champs Elysees in April.

Gendarmes jumped out of the vehicle, ran to the auto, smashed its windows and pulled out the driver in an apparent attempt to save him, according to witness accounts.

Collomb said he will present a bill on Wednesday at a cabinet meeting to extend the state of emergency from July 15, its current expiration date, until November 1. They say he has been arrested after being injured in a subsequent apparent clash with police. But, it called Parisians to avoid the area which is cordoned off.

It imposed emergency security rules in the wake of the 2015 attacks which killed 130 people.

Reports say Paris prosecutors have opened an anti-terror investigation into the attack.

Morcilla, who was in Paris on vacation with his girlfriend, took video of the aftermath of the attack. According to the interior minister, it is important to preserve the state of emergency now in effect in France to be able to successfully counter terrorists.

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