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Car rams police vehicle on famed Paris avenue; attacker dies

20 June 2017

The minister used the occasion to explain the continued need for a state of emergency, in place since 2015, and plans to extend it until November 1, to be presented at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.

"This shows once again that the threat level in France is extremely high", Collomb said. It was the second major incident on the avenue this year.

France's interior minister says that a driver who rammed a vehicle carrying explosives into a police convoy on the Champs-Elysees avenue has died after the "attempted attack" on security forces.

A spokesperson for the French Interior Ministry said an anti-terror investigation has been launched by the Paris Prosecutor's Office. He also confirmed that the attacker is dead.

Eric Favereau, a journalist for Liberation newspaper who was driving a scooter behind the gendarmes, said he saw a auto blocking the convoy's path, then an implosion in the vehicle.

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The gendarmes then fired back before the auto burst into flames and exploded; at least one gas cylinder was said to be aboard the vehicle used by the assailant. "They took the man out and put him a bit further away (from the car) on the other side of the road", she recalled.

Anti-riot police officers patrol the Champs-Elysees avenue on Monday following another attack on police in the French capital.

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

The attacker was a 31-year-old man from a Paris suburb who had been flagged for extremism, police officials said.

Earlier, police advised people to avoid the area, as about 20 police vans and several armed officers surrounded the man on the ground.

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Confirming the two deaths, DGP SP Vaid said: "Security forces have no choice but to retaliate when militants fire at them". In the retaliatory action by forces, two young protesters were killed while more than two dozen were injured.

The man died in the collision, police said.

Brandet said bomb squads were still securing the scene.

- Last month, a man attacked an officer with a hammer at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, proclaiming, "This is for Syria", Collomb said. It is unclear why the attacker drove into police, though officials said the incident was apparently deliberate.

The French national gendarmerie service said no-one was hurt in the incident.

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Police stood alongside the fence at the field where the women's team often gathers for early morning practices. Glenn Thompson, R-Pa., issued a call to "replace the hateful rhetoric and resistance with respect".

Car rams police vehicle on famed Paris avenue; attacker dies