Suspected Paris attacker `downed' after driving into police car
PARIS – France's interior minister says that a driver who rammed a car carrying explosives into a police convoy on the Champs-Elysees avenue has died after the "attempted attack" on security forces.
Gerard Collomb told reporters near the scene Monday that the man's motives weren't immediately clear.
Two French police officials say the man was a 31-year-old man from a Paris suburb who had been flagged for extremism.
The officials identified the man as from the suburb of Argenteuil, and said he had an "S" file, which means authorities had been aware of potential links to extremism.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation into Monday's incident.
Bomb squad officers are at the scene on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists. It was the second major incident on the avenue this year
Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet says the driver's car exploded as it attempted to ram a police vehicle.
Brandet said bomb squads were still securing the scene. He said the attacker appeared to have acted deliberately.
No one else was reportedly injured in the incident.
The suspect is wearing a white shirt and dark shorts and prone on his stomach on the avenue.
Police ringed the area as tourists and other onlookers gathered.
Collomb says the attempted attack on security forces shows the threat is still very high in the country and justifies the state of emergency.
Collomb says he will present a bill Wednesday at a Cabinet meeting to extend the state of emergency from July 15, its current expiration date, until Nov. 1.
He says the current situation in France shows a new security law "is needed" and the measure would "maintain a high security level" beyond the end of the state of emergency.
France has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris.
Copyright 2017 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.