Tuesday, 25 April, 2017

Police search man's home in connection with Champs-Elysees attack

A French soldier patrols on the Champs Elysees in Paris after a shooting on 20 April 2017. One police officer was killed and another wounded today in a shooting on Paris’s Champs Elysees police said just days ahead of France's presidential election. P Paris police say officer and attacker shot, killed
Melinda Barton | 21 April, 2017, 19:27

ORIGINAL STORY: One police officer has been killed in a shooting in Paris on Thursday and the attacker has been "taken down", according to CNN affiliate BFMTV.

Mr Cheurfi was convicted in the early 2000s of attempted murder in the shooting of two police officers and served several years in prison.

A gunman killed one officer and wounded three people on Paris' iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard Thursday night, before police shot and killed him.

Speaking during a televised debate around the time of Thursday's attack, Fillon said there was "no room for pursuing today or tomorrow an electoral campaign because first of all we have to demonstrate our solidarity with the police officers".

In the wake of the shooting, security concerns took centre stage in the last days of the country's presidential race, which is expected to be a tightly contested election as the gap between four frontrunners continues to narrow.

Jihadist-inspired assaults have killed more than 230 people in France since 2015, with numerous victims being people who had gone out for the evening.

The Paris prosecutor's office leading the investigation has said a pump-action shotgun and knives were found in the gunman's vehicle.

- April 19: Sid Ahmed Ghlam, an Algerian IT student, is arrested on suspicion of killing a woman who was found shot dead in her vehicle, and of planning an attack on a church in the Paris suburb of Villejuif. Francois Fillon, who is the conservative candidate, said he would cancel the campaign events he had been planning for Friday.

Brandet says while witnesses have described only one gunman, the possibility of accomplices can't be ruled out.

With some voters doubtful whether the 39-year-old former banker is experienced enough to be head of state, Macron appealed for cool heads.

After Le Pen spoke scathingly Friday of the government's fight against extremism, Cazeneuve noted that Le Pen's party in 2014 voted against an anti-terrorism law and, in 2015, against a law that beefed up resources for French intelligence services. Officials later said a tourist was injured by fragments from the shooting. The attackers are killed in separate shootouts with police, but not before claiming allegiance to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS).

Speaking in Indonesia Friday, US Vice President Mike Pence said the attack was just the latest reminder "that terrorism can strike anywhere at anytime".

"I just want to go home", she said.

"She won't be able to protect our citizens", Macron said.

- June 13: Larossi Abballa, 25, kills police officer Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, and his partner, Jessica Schneider, 36, at their home in Magnanville, west of Paris.

A spokesman for the interior ministry paid tribute to the fast reflexes of police at the scene who managed to kill the gunman and prevent further bloodshed on a busy spring-time evening.

A man emerged from the auto and opened fire on the van with an "automatic weapon", killing one officer instantly, he said.

Elena Worms, who was walking her dog near the Champs-Elysees, called the attack "destabilizing" and said she fears it will "push people to the extremes".

In between, there have been a series of smaller attacks, often aimed at security forces. "The perpetrator of the attack in Champs Elysees in central Paris is Abu Yussef the Belgian and he is one of the Islamic State's fighters", said an IS statement published by its propaganda agency Amaq.