A man being investigated by French authorities for being a possible terrorist died after ramming his explosive carrying car into a police vehicle near Champs-Elysees shopping district.
Paris still not safe
Paris Police Department announced that no one other than the perpetrator was harmed. It’s still unclear as to why the man drove his car into the police. It’s assumed deliberate.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb says that this attack shows that the country is still under threat and should stay on high alert. Minister Collomb will be presenting a bill on Wednesday to the cabinet that suggests extending the state of emergency to November 1st.
He says that France needs to “maintain a high security level.”
Police told the Associated Press that the driver had a handgun and that he was badly burned after the car exploded. Although his name is not being released, he was identified as a 31-year-old man from a Parisian suburb who was under investigation for links to extremism.
This is the second attack to take place in the area. A most likely with the Islamic State was shot by a police officer in Champs-Elysees in April. All this just a few days before the presidential elections.
Police have warned people to avoid the area cordoned off in the shopping district. Hours after the incident, bomb squads scoured the area for explosives.
Pierre-Henry Brandet, a spokesman from the Interior Ministry states that the incident was deliberate. Police “pulled an individual out of the vehicle who had struck the car in front of the convoy.” He adds “Large numbers of police converged on the scene, firefighters to extinguish the fire.”
Eric Favereau, a journalist who was following the incident on his scooter, watched the incident play out. He said he saw car blocking the convoy’s path and then an implosion from inside. He then reported that the police smashed the windows and pulled out the driver while it was up in flames. Another officer used an extinguisher to put out the fire.
A mother and daughter who were visiting Paris said that they’re not afraid to visit the famous avenue. The daughter Chrystel said in English “The show must go on…they won’t win.”