French policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in central Paris on Thursday night in an attack carried out days before presidential elections and quickly claimed by the Islamic State militant group.
The suspected attacker was killed by security forces, French police said. The Champs-Elysees was sealed off.
President Francois Hollande said he was convinced the “cowardly killing” on the Champs Elysees boulevard was an act of terrorism.
A car pulled up alongside a police bus just before 21:00 (19:00 GMT). Immediately a man got out and fired on the police vehicle, mortally wounding a police officer,” Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.
fter killing an officer, he attempted to run away while shooting at other officers, two of whom he injured, the spokesman added.
The whole of the Champs-Elysees was evacuated and police vehicles were lined up near a point half way up the avenue around the George V metro station.
Shots were heard near the Marks & Spencer store, provoking a panicked rush away from the scene by tourists and passers-by.
Witnesses interviewed by AFP recounted scenes of panic as people ran for cover and sought shelter.
France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks mostly perpetrated by young men who grew up in France and Belgium and that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.