Vehicle rams police van on Champs-Elysees, armed suspect dead

Police inspect the body of a suspect at the scene of an incident in which a car rammed a gendarmerie van on the Champs Elysees in Paris France

The incident took place on the iconic Champs-Elysees boulevard in central Paris, the latest attack this year against security forces in the French capital.

The Paris prosecutor's counter-terrorism unit said an investigation had been opened into the incident only a short walk away from the Elysee presidential palace and the USA embassy.

Speaking to reporters, interior ministry's spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the incident "seems to be a voluntary act".

French officials say that a man on the radar of authorities has been killed after ramming a auto carrying explosives into a police vehicle in Paris' Champs-Elysees shopping district, prompting a fiery blast.

No injuries have been reported so far, said French television station BFMTV.

Police officers seal off the access to the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Monday, June 19, 2017.

In a message on their official Twitter account, police said an operation was ongoing in the Champs Elysées and citizens should avoid the area.

French broadcaster BFMTV said the suspect was a 33-year-old man, who was known to the intelligence services.




Police sources told AFP that they found a Kalashnikov assault rifle, two handguns as well as a gas bottle on the auto. Favereau wrote that the gendarmes smashed open the windows of the vehicle while it was in flames and dragged out its occupant.

Victoria Boucher and daughter Chrystel say they're hoping the Champs-Elysees reopens soon.

Chrystel said that "we were better off inside than outside".

Bomb squad officers are at the scene on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists. But both agree that, as Victoria says, "Unfortunately, we now are used to this".

In April, an attacker opened fire on a police van on the Champs Elysees, killing one officer and gravely wounding two others.

Leonard Odihe said he saw officers break into the auto, pull the man out and throw two weapons on the ground, "a big pistol and another big arm like the weapons police carry".

"The show must go on", the daughter said in English.

It is unclear the attacker has been killed or why he drove into the police Monday.

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