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Driver Killed After Car Rams Police Van in Paris


Police vehicles prevent the access to the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, France, June 19, 2017. Paris officials say : Suspected attacker 'downed' after driving into police car on Champs-Elysees.

A man was killed after driving a car packed with explosives into a police van in Paris's popular Champs Elysees shopping district Monday, police said.

No one else was injured in the crash. Officials called it a deliberate attack.

The 31-year-old man was known to authorities as being potentially linked to extremism, early reports said.

A bomb squad is securing the scene, an Interior Ministry spokesman said. Police added that a Kalashnikov rifle, handguns, and gas bottles were also found in the car.

France's counter-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident.

France's Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the incident proved that France's state of emergency in the face of terror attacks should be extended. The state of emergency has been in place since 2015 and is set to expire next month, but Collomb said he will be presenting a bill to further extend it until November.

As news of the incident unfolded, police had advised the public to avoid the area on Twitter and cordoned off an area near the presidential palace.

​Last April, ahead of the presidential vote in France, a gunman killed one policeman and wounded two others on the same world-famous street, popular among residents and tourists alike for its fashionable shops and restaurants. Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack.

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