Paris police van attack: Four family members of assailant detained

A man has died after ramming a vehicle carrying weapons and explosives into a police van as it drove down Paris' Champs Elysees, prompting a fiery blast, officials say.

PARIS A vehicle burst into flames after it crashed into a police van on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris on Monday, police and investigators said, adding that the driver was armed and it appeared to be a "deliberate" act.

Dzaziri was carrying in his vehicle an assault rifle, two handguns, ammo and two large gas canisters, two police sources and the judicial official told the paper.

The incident came just two months after a policeman was shot and killed on the avenue, days before the first round of France's presidential election.

Collomb said that Monday's incident justified further extension of France's so-called "state of emergency", a heightened security and surveillance regimen that has been in place since November 2015, when Islamic State militants carried out a series of coordinated attacks on a concert hall and cafes across Paris, killing 130.

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It's the fifth time in four months that security forces have been attacked in the nation's capital.

"At this stage in the investigation, it is believed that the suspect acted alone but we are of course investigating all the circumstances leading up to the attack", the force said in a statement.

In June a hammer-wielding Algerian man was shot and wounded by police after he struck an officer on the head in front of Paris' Notre Dame cathedral. The French Interior Ministry said it was a deliberate attack and that the auto was laden with explosives.

Critics have said that the security regimen has failed to prevent attacks and has resulted in warrantless, extrajudicial searches and house arrests.

The "radicalised" attacker was later pictured being stripped naked by bomb squad officers.

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Footage from the scene, screened by broadcaster BFMTV, showed intense flames coming from the passenger compartment of a saloon auto and police apparently attempting to pull the driver out.

France is under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks. (French) AP - 4102396 / 1 [00'54] "You know that next Wednesday, I will present, during the cabinet meeting, a draft bill in order to extend the state of emergency". The officer's injuries were not serious.

Police forces secure the area on the Champs Elysées next to the suspected auto, center, in Paris on Monday.

In July previous year, 86 people were killed when a truck plowed through a crowd in Nice, and similar incidents have occurred in other European cities.

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