A French police officer was killed on Thursday and another left fighting for his life after an apparent terrorist shooting on the famous Champs Elysées avenue just days before the first round of the presidential election.
Pierre-Henry Brandet, of the French interior ministry, said the attacker opened fire on a police van on the Champs Élysées on Thursday night, killing one officer and seriously wounding two others. He said later that the wounded police officers’ lives were no longer in danger
“He has been named as 39-year-old ‘Karim C’, who was born in France”, according to report in France. His home was raided shortly after the attack.
The French president, François Hollande, said the Champs Élysées attack was “terrorist in nature” and promised “utmost vigilance” by security services to ensure security around the presidential election.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement by the jihadi group’s propaganda agency Amaq. According to AFP, the statement said the attacker was one of the group’s “fighters” known as Abu Yussef, “the Belgian”.
The terrorist group released a message through its news agency Amaq saying that the attacker was “one of the fighters for the Islamic State.”
France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor François Molins said that security officials had verified the attacker’s identity, although he did not release the name.
Citing sources close to the inquiry, AFP said “he was a 39-year-old who had been under investigation.
Choukri Chouanine, the owner of a restaurant on the nearby rue de Ponthieu, told AFP that he had heard a short round of “a lot of gunfire”. “We had to hide our diners in the basement,” he said.
The US president, Donald Trump, reacted, “It’s a very, very terrible thing that’s going on in the world today. But it looks like another terrorist attack and what can you say? It just never ends. We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant and I’ve been saying it for a long time.”