Champs Élysées: attempted attack on French police foiled, says interior minister


Police closed two of the Metro stations on the Champs-Elysees, but two hours after the attack tourists were back taking selfies of the Arc de Triomphe and visiting shops.

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

Victoria Boucher and daughter Chrystel came in from the suburb of Cergy-Pontoise for a Paris visit and weren't afraid to go to the famed avenue.

"We were better off inside than outside", Chrystel said. But both agree that, as Victoria says, "Unfortunately, we now are used to this".

"The show must go on", the daughter said in English. The minister used the occasion to explain the continued need for a state of emergency, in place since 2015, and plans to extend it until November 1, to be presented at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.

Police say the situation is now under control, and neither law enforcement nor civilians were injured.

Police did not fire a single shot at the scene, but officials confirmed that the driver, who had been flagged for extremism, was badly burned and died.

The French authorities have launched a terror investigation and have not identified the suspect.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation into Monday's incident.

"It appears to have been a deliberate act on the part of the individual", said Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet.

"This shows once again that the threat level in France is extremely high", Collomb said.

Firemen cover the body of a suspect at the scene of the Champs-Elysees incident in Paris, France.

France is under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Mr Collomb said the man's vehicle was carrying weapons and explosives that could have caused a blast.

- Last month, a man attacked an officer with a hammer at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, proclaiming, "This is for Syria", Collomb said.

The information that has emerged so far in this latest incident could fit a recent pattern, said Jean-Charles Brisard, a French intelligence expert and director of the Paris-based Center for the Analysis of Terrorism.

Police vehicles prevent the access to the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, Monday, June 19, 2017.