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The Latest: Paris art exhibit locked down during attack

June 19, 2017 4:08 PM
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Visitors to an art exhibit of Auguste Rodin's works in central Paris were confined inside the Grand Palais for an hour after an attacker rammed into a police convoy on the nearby Champs-Elysees.

Police forces secure the area on the Champs Elysées next to the suspected car, center, in Paris, Monday, June 19, 2017. A man rammed his car into a police vehicle in Paris' Champs-Elysees shopping district Monday, prompting a fiery explosion, and was likely killed in the incident, authorities said. (AP Photo/Matthieu Alexandre)

Victoria Boucher and daughter Chrystel said they're hoping the Champs-Elysees reopens soon. They came in from the suburb of Cergy-Pontoise for a Paris visit and weren't afraid to go to the famed avenue.

Chrystel said that "we were better off inside than outside." But both agreed as the mother said, "unfortunately we now are used to this."

"The show must go on," the daughter said in English. "They won't win."

France's interior minister says the attempted attack on security forces on the Champs-Elysees shows the threat is still very high in the country and justifies the state of emergency.

Gerard Collomb says he will present a bill Wednesday at a Cabinet meeting to extend the state of emergency from July 15, its current expiration date, until Nov. 1.

He says the current situation in France shows a new security law "is needed" and the measure would "maintain a high security level" beyond the end of the state of emergency.

France has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris.

Two French police officials say the man who rammed into a police convoy on Paris' Champs-Elysees was a 31-year-old man from a Paris suburb who had been flagged for extremism.

The officials identified the man as from the suburb of Argenteuil, and said he had an "S'' file, which means authorities had been aware of potential links to extremism.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation into Monday's incident.

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

Gerard Collomb told reporters near the scene Monday that the man's motives weren't immediately clear.

Bomb squad officers are at the scene on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists. It was the second major incident on the avenue this year.

An attacker defending the Islamic State group shot and killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees in April, days before a presidential election, prompting an extensive security operation.

A French security official says that the attacker on Champs-Elysees avenue is probably dead and the bomb squad is on the scene.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet says the driver whose car exploded as he tried to ram a police vehicle is "most probably" dead.

Brandet said bomb squads were still securing the scene. He said the attacker appeared to have acted deliberately.

France's anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the ramming of a police vehicle on Paris' Champs-Elysees avenue.

Authorities say a driver has rammed his car into a police vehicle in the Champs-Elysees shopping district. They say he has been arrested after being injured in a subsequent apparent clash with police.

The French national gendarmerie service says the driver of a car that rammed a law enforcement vehicle has been arrested.

The tweet Monday confirmed an attack had taken place on Paris' famed Champs-Elysees.

Police had earlier warned people to avoid the neighborhood, one of the French capital's most popular with tourists. Paris police said neither gendarmes nor passers-by were injured.

Two French police officials have told The Associated Press that a suspected attacker drove into a police vehicle on the Champs-Elysees shopping district in Paris, and is now lying on the ground immobilized.

It is unclear the attacker has been killed or why he drove into the police Monday. The officials weren't authorized to be publicly named.

The suspect is wearing a white shirt and dark shorts and prone on his stomach on the avenue.

Paris police say a security operation is underway in the Champs-Elysees shopping district and are urging people to avoid the area.

The police department tweeted the warning Monday without providing further details. The high-end neighborhood is popular with tourists.

An attacker defending the Islamic State group shot and killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees in April, days before a presidential election, prompting an extensive security operation. France is under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Also read: The Latest: 3 arrested in connection to violent clashes

Source: dailymail.co.uk

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