AFP / Ludovic MARINPolice officers block
the access to the Champs Elysees in
Paris after a shooting on April 20, 2017
One police officer was killed and another
wounded Thursday in a shooting on Paris's
Champs Elysees, police said, just days ahead
of France's presidential election.
France's interior ministry said the
attacker was killed in the incident in the
early evening on the world-famous boulevard.
The famous shopping street in the heart
of the city, which is usually teaming with
tourists and Parisians, was blocked by armed
police and metro stations in the area were
Dozens of vehicles from the emergency
services were sent to the area.
The shooting comes just two days after
police arrested two men in southern
Marseille with weapons and explosives who
were suspected of preparing an attack to
disrupt the first-round of the presidential
election on Sunday.
France is in a state of emergency and at
its highest possible level of alert since a
string of terror attacks that began in 2015,
which have killed over 230 people.
Thousands of troops and armed police have
been deployed to guard tourist hotspots such
as the Champs Elysees or other potential
targets like government buildings and
Up until now, polls showed voters more
concerned about unemployment and their
spending power than terrorism or security,
though analysts warned this would change in
the event of further bloodshed.
For weeks, centrist former banker Macron
and National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen
have been out in front but opinion polls now
show there is a chance that any of the four
leading candidates could reach the
second-round runoff on May 7.
Scandal-plagued conservative Francois
Fillon and far-left firebrand Jean-Luc
Melenchon have closed the gap substantially
in the last two weeks.