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

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

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

"You could tell when you saw them in the street that they were very religious", he said.

"The vehicle contained weapons, explosives, enough to allow him to blow up this auto." said Gerard Collomb.

But besides the driver - who police say is now dead - no cops or bystanders suffered any injuries.

Gendarmes jumped out of the vehicle, ran to the auto, smashed its windows and pulled out the driver in an apparent attempt to save him, according to witness accounts.

Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said bomb disposal experts were on the scene to "ensure the vehicle poses no further danger".

The incident, which took place at 3:40 p.m. local time (9:40 a.m. ET), began when a police squadron drove down the Champs-Elysses and an individual hit the first vehicle of the squad.

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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.

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

French media, quoting police sources, say the incident on Monday was deliberate.

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.

Earlier this month a man wielding a hammer attacked police officers on patrol outside Notre Dame cathedral, injuring one before being shot and seriously injured himself.

In London, the Metropolitan Police said the detained man was initially arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, but he was later charged with the "commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism including murder and attempted murder".

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Odihe said he also saw bottles of gas, one of which apparently exploded inside the auto.

Police had earlier warned people to avoid the neighborhood, one of the French capital's most popular with tourists.

About 20 police vans and several armed police surrounded a man on the ground.

The van used in the attack was reportedly hired in Wales.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said "people in the Muslim community, attending prayers, will see their police protecting them in coming days".

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