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Paris police officer killed and two injured in suspected terrorist shooting

21 April 2017

A known terror suspect shot dead a French policeman and wounded two others Thursday on Paris's Champs Elysees in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group days before a presidential election.

Based on current polling, Le Pen is expected to face Center-Right candidate Emmanuel Macron in a runoff in May.

Helicopters buzzed above and armoured police toting machine guns ringfenced the area where an interior ministry spokesman, Pierre-Henry Brandet, told journalists one policeman had been shot dead and two colleagues injured before the assailant, who fled on foot, was shot and killed too.

However, in February, a man attacked a soldier with a machete outside the Louvre museum saying he wanted to avenge the people of Syria, and in September a year ago a group of women whom authorities say had been planning an attack left a vehicle laden with gas cylinders in a side street near Notre Dame cathedral.

Some of the candidates have clashed over whether official campaigning, which has just one more day to run, should be brought to a full stop in light of the incident.

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Steve White, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "Once again the police family is in mourning and it serves to underline how courageous officers are putting their life on the line day in and day out to protect the public".

France is in a state of emergency and at its highest possible level of alert since the attacks that began in 2015.

"Our condolences to our country and the people of France". French television networks reported that he was a 39-year-old French national known for previous violent crimes.

Speaking in Indonesia Friday, US Vice President Mike Pence said the attack was just the latest reminder "that terrorism can strike anywhere at any time".

A source close to the investigation said the attacker had a long criminal record.

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As Paris got back to business, municipal workers in white hygiene suits were out before dawn to wash down the sidewalk where the assault took place - a scene now depressingly familiar after multiple attacks that have killed more than 230 people in France over two years.

"She won't be able to protect our citizens", Macron said of Le Pen.

Police have ordered the people to stay away from the area.

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on BFM television that a man came out of a auto and opened fire on a police vehicle. She said her plans to vote Fillon remained unchanged. Police shot and killed the gunman.

On its media channel, Amaq, ISIS claimed that the attack was carried out by "Abu Yousuf al-Baljiki (the Belgian) and he is one of the Islamic State's fighters". But Belgium's interior minister said the pseudonym did not belong to the attacker. It was immediately blocked by armed officers after the attack and nearby metro stations were closed. In the early hours of Friday, authorities searched a home in a suburb of Paris believed to be the gunman's residence.

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The claim came quickly and the naming of the assailant suggested a degree of direct contact with Islamic State. It recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris: one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month.