A driver with a gun, sitting in a car full of weapons, has died after he decided to ram a police car – setting his own vehicle on fire.
Thanks to quick thinking police, another terrorist attack was prevented. The officers recognized that man as a known terror suspect. They pulled him out of the burning car, and immediately cut his clothes off to check for a bomb that might be strapped to him.
Police say that there was a gas bomb in the car, which went off upon impact. The driver of the car was fatally injured, and lay dying in the street. No civilians or officers were hurt.
The Daily Mail reports:
‘The man was very badly injured, and then pulled out of his damaged vehicle. He was badly injured in the collision and was taken away.
‘He did not cause any injuries, but the collision was a deliberate act.’
An Interior Ministry source meanwhile said that the attacker ‘is likely to have died following the attack’.
He added that ‘numerous weapons were found in his car boot’.
The specialist anti-terrorism officers confirmed they had opened an inquiry into the kamikaze attack.
France’s Interior Minister Gerard Collomb called the incident an attempted attack and said: ‘Security forces have been targeted in France once again’.
The weapons and explosives found in the vehicle ‘could potentially blow this car up,’ he added.
Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said bomb disposal experts were on the scene to ‘ensure the vehicle poses no further danger’.
Video showed orange smoke pouring from the car after the impact.
No police or bystanders were injured in the incident near the Grand Palais exhibition hall.
Police have closed two of the Metro stations on the Champs-Elysees, the world-renowned avenue lined with shops and cinemas that is a major tourist draw in the French capital.
The incident came just two months after a policeman was shot and killed on the avenue, three days before the first round of France’s presidential election.
A note praising the Islamic State group was found next to the body of the gunman, Karim Cheurfi, in that incident.
Police later found other weapons in Cheurfi’s car including a shotgun and knives.
On June 7, a hammer-wielding Algerian man was shot and wounded by police after he struck an officer on the head in front of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, shouting it was in revenge ‘for Syria’.
He had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in a video found at his home.