Paris attack on police car on Champs-Elysees

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PARIS — A man was killed Monday after ramming a car carrying explosives into a police vehicle in the French capital’s Champs-Elysees shopping district, prompting a fiery blast, officials said. France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.

No police officers or passers-by were hurt, the Paris police department said. It is unclear why the attacker drove into police, though officials said the incident was apparently deliberate.

About attack
Attack may refer to:
Offensive (military)
Charge (warfare)
Attack (fencing)
Strike (attack)
Attack (computing)
Attack (music), the prefix or initial phase of a sound
Attacca, the immediate joining of a musical movement to a previous one
Attack (political party), a political party in Bulgaria
In newspaper headlines, to save space, sometimes “criticise”

Paris attack on police vehicle on Champs-Elysees

About police
A police force is a constituted body of persons empowered by the state to enforce the law, protect property, and limit civil disorder. Their powers include the legitimized use of force. The term is most commonly associated with police services of a sovereign state that are authorized to exercise the police power of that state within a defined legal or territorial area of responsibility. Police forces are often defined as being separate from military or other organizations involved in the defense of the state against foreign aggressors; however, gendarmerie are military units charged with civil policing.
Law enforcement, however, constitutes only part of policing activity. Policing has included an array of activities in different situations, but the predominant ones are concerned with the preservation of order. In some societies, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, these developed within the context of maintaining the class system and the protection of private property. Many police forces suffer from police corruption to a greater or lesser degree. The police force is usually a public sector service, meaning they are paid through taxes.
Alternative names for police force include constabulary, gendarmerie, police department, police service, crime prevention, protective services, law enforcement agency, civil guard or civic guard. Members may be referred to as police officers, troopers, sheriffs, constables, rangers, peace officers or civic/civil guards.
As police are often interacting with individuals, slang terms are numerous. Many slang terms for police officers are decades or centuries old with lost etymology. One of the oldest, “cop”, has largely lost its slang connotations and become a common colloquial term used both by the public and police officers to refer to their profession.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the man was killed after an attempted attack on a police convoy, saying that shows the threat is still very high in the country and justifies a state of emergency in place since 2015. He said 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.”

Paris attack on police vehicle on Champs-Elysees

Police inspect the body of a suspect at the scene of an incident in which a car rammed a gendarmerie van on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, June 19, 2017.

Police inspect the body of a suspect at the scene of an incident in which a car rammed a gendarmerie van on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, France, June 19, 2017.

Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes

Cellphone video from a witness, Eugenio Morcillo, showed the car exploding into cloud of orange flames after slamming into the van.  

Two police officials told The Associated Press that a handgun was found on the driver, who they said was badly burned after the vehicle exploded. They identified the man as a 31-year-old man from the Paris suburb of Argenteuil who had an “S” file, meaning he was flagged for links to extremism.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal details of the incident, the second this year on the city’s most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists from around the world.

An attacker defending the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, fatally shot a police officer on the Champs-Elysees in April, days before a presidential election, prompting an extensive security operation.

On Monday, police cordoned off a broad swath of the Champs-Elysees after the latest incident, warning people to avoid the area.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the incident was apparently deliberate.

Police “pulled an individual out of the vehicle who had struck the car in front (of the convoy,” Brandet told reporters. “Large numbers of police converged on the scene, firefighters to extinguish the fire.”

A man could be seen lying on his stomach on the ground immediately after the incident, wearing a white shirt and dark shorts.

Hours later, access to the avenue remained blocked, while bomb squads combed the area.

A French gendarme runs past a car on the Champs-Elysees after an incident in Paris, France, June 19, 2017.

A French gendarme runs past a car on the Champs-Elysees after an incident in Paris, France, June 19, 2017.

Reuters/Charles Platiau

Eric Favereau, a journalist for Liberation newspaper who was driving a scooter behind the gendarmes, said he saw a car blocking the convoy’s path, then an implosion in the vehicle. Favereau wrote that the gendarmes smashed open the windows of the car while it was in flames and dragged out its occupant. Other gendarmes used fire extinguishers to put out the flames. The account didn’t say what happened to the occupant of the car afterward.

Visitors to a nearby Auguste Rodin exhibit were confined inside the Grand Palais exhibit hall for an hour after the incident.

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 agreed as the mother said, “unfortunately we now are used to this.”

“The show must go on,” the daughter said in English.  “They won’t win.”

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