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French media report 2 police have been shot in Paris

21 April 2017

A second police officer was also shot and wounded by another assailant on the Champs Elysees - the boulevard along which the presidential palace is located - near the Arc d'Triomphe at approximately 9:37 pm local time, multiple news outlets reported.

French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a auto and opened fire on a police vehicle.

BFMTV reports two policemen were seriously injured.

Paris police are warning people to avoid the area around the French capital's grand Champs-Elysees.

According to ABC News, "A French police union tweeted that an 'individual in a auto opened fire at a police vehicle stopped at a red light'".

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According to French officials, police appeared to be the target of an attack carried out just days before the country heads to the polls for general elections.

France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks mostly perpetrated by young men who grew up in France and Belgium and that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.

The bustling shopping street in the heart of the city, which is usually teeming with tourists and Parisians, was blocked by armed officers and metro stations in the area were closed. He said officers were "deliberately" targeted.

Mr Hollande said at a press conference that he is convinced the attack was a terrorist act.

Late on Thursday the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the shooting and identified one of its "soldiers" thought to be involved as Belgian man Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki.

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The presidential candidates were taking part in a televised debate when the incident took place.

French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a auto and opened fire on a police vehicle.

France remains under a state of emergency, after a series of deadly terrorist attacks over the past several years.

It followed warnings that Islamists had planned an attack before the first round of voting on Sunday.

French conservative politician Francois Fillon, another candidate in France's presidential election, said that campaigning should be suspended following the shooting.

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In February, a man armed with a machete in each hand attacked soldiers on patrol at Paris's Louvre Museum. None of the candidates immediately commented.

French media report 2 police have been shot in Paris