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What You Should Know About the Champs-Elysees Shooting in Paris

21 Avril 2017

The attacker emerged from a auto and used an automatic weapon to shoot at officers outside a Marks & Spencer's department store at the center of the Champs-Elysees. Rival François Fillon calls for unity and says France is "at war" against terror.

Hollande, who said he was convinced the shooting was a "terrorist act", cancelled a trip to Bretagne and will chair a security cabinet meeting Friday. "It never ends", he said at a press conference on Thursday.

One police officer and an attacker are dead after a shooting in Paris. Investigators found a pump-action shotgun and knives in his vehicle.

In between, there have been a series of smaller attacks, often aimed at security forces. The risk for the main candidates was that misjudging the public mood, making an ill-perceived gesture or comment, could damage their chances.

Based on current polling, Le Pen is expected to face Center-Right candidate Emmanuel Macron in a runoff in May. In the wake of the assault, they redoubled appeals for a firmer hand against Islamic extremism and promised get-tough measures if elected. A staunch isolationist, Le Pen has gained traction among the French electorate for her desire to secure France's borders.

British Prime Minister Theresa May also spoke to Hollande.

Fillon said he wanted to show "solidarity" with the police, who appear to be the prime targets in the attack. As you know, France has been under a state of emergency since 2015 November where there was a major terrorist attack. "This must be the priority", he said.

Jihadist-inspired assaults have killed more than 230 people in France since 2015, with numerous victims being people who had gone out for the evening. Delivery trucks did their early morning rounds. Everything would have seemed normal if not for a row of TV trucks parked along the boulevard that is a must-visit for tourists.

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Foreign companies bringing tour groups to North Korea, however, have seen no dip in demand. China made a plea for a return to negotiations.

With a record number of voters still undecided, analysts say the shooting, by a suspect said to be known to French security services for radical Islamist activities, could play into the narrative pushed by the far-right.

It was unclear whether the attack would tip the balance of the vote in favour of Le Pen, who has vowed to take a tough line on "Islamic terrorism".

"Not everything has been done to protect our citizens".

The two police officers injured in the attack are out of danger, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

A gunman wielding a machine gun leapt out of a auto and opened fire on the Champs-Elysees, Paris's most famous boulevard, as candidates were engaging in their final TV debate ahead of Sunday's vote. This attack had claimed 130 lives and had left 368 others wounded.

Police and soldiers sealed off the area, ordering tourists back into hotels and blocking people from approaching the scene. I don't want our youth to get used to living with this danger.

Islamic State, which has hundreds of French-speaking fighters, claimed responsibility for the Champs Elysees shooting soon afterwards, in a statement identifying the attacker as "Abu Yousif al-Belgiki (the Belgian)". But Belgium's interior minister said the pseudonym did not belong to the attacker. In the early hours of Friday, authorities searched a home in a suburb of Paris believed to be the gunman's residence.

What You Should Know About the Champs-Elysees Shooting in Paris