Gunman shoots police officers in Paris; ISIS takes credit

Paris police say officer and attacker shot killed

Paris police are warning people to avoid the area around the French capital's grand Champs-Elysees after reports that two police officers were shot Thursday, with one dying.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq channel, the AFP reports, also referring to the man as "the Belgian".

According to The Guardian, an attacker opened fire on a police van on the Champs-Elysees in central Paris.

After that attack and others in the last two years - many perpetrated by Islamic State militants or those claiming to be inspired by the extremist group - terrorism and national security remain crucial issues in the most contentious election France has seen in decades.

So-called Islamic State (IS) said that one of its "fighters" had carried out the attack.

The gunman attacked as the officers were guarding an area near the Franklin Roosevelt metro station, not far from the Arc de Triomphe on Thursday night. Exactly what you said - a auto pulled up on the Champs-Elysees.

Police and soldiers sealed off the area, ordering tourists back into hotels and blocking people from approaching the scene.

"The investigation has been entrusted to the Anti-Terrorist Section (SAT) of the Criminal Brigade and the Directorate General of Internal Security (DGSI)", Paris chief prosecutor's office said in a statement.

French police are said to have launched a raid on the home of the attacker who it is said had links to "extremism". Two police officers told AP the attacker had been flagged as an extremist, but they offered no further details.

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The shooting comes just two days after police arrested two men in southern Marseille with weapons and explosives who were suspected of preparing an attack to disrupt the first-round of the presidential election on Sunday.

"It's too early to say how or whether he was connected to what happened on the Champs Elysees", ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

French police warned the public to stay away from the area and armed officers are at the scene. Who knows? Maybe they're trying - there's been a lot of analysis.

Fillon is calling for the election campaign to be suspended altogether. REUTERS/Reuters Tv Masked police stand on top of their vehicle on the Champs Elysees Avenue after a policeman was killed and two others were wounded in a shooting incident in Paris, France, April 20, 2017. "We have to be strong and we have to be vigilant, and I've been saying it for a long time". A foreign tourist was also slightly injured.

France has been under a state of emergency since 2015, because of a series of deadly terrorist attacks over the past several years.

Meanwhile, French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has shown solidarity with the policeman, who was killed in the shooting. Parliament voted in December to extend the extraordinary provisions to ensure the protection of upcoming presidential and general elections.

In July, an attacker in Nice drove a truck into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day, killing more than 80 people and injuring hundreds before he was fatally shot by police.

None of the candidates immediately commented.

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