A man on the radar of French authorities was killed Monday after ramming a car carrying explosives into a police vehicle in the capital’s Champs-Élysées shopping district, prompting a fiery blast, officials said. France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.
No police officers or passersby were hurt, the Paris police department said. It is unclear why the attacker drove into police, though officials said the incident was apparently deliberate.
Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the man was killed after an attempted attack on a police convoy, saying that shows the threat is still very high in the country and justifies a state of emergency in place since 2015. He said he will present a bill Wednesday at a Cabinet meeting to extend the state of emergency from July 15, its current expiration date, until Nov. 1.
He says the current situation in France shows a new security law “is needed” and the measure would “maintain a high security level.”
Two police officials told The Associated Press that a handgun was found on the driver, who they said was badly burned after the vehicle exploded. They identified the man as a 31-year-old man from the Paris suburb of Argenteuil who had an “S” file, meaning he was flagged for links to extremism.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal details of the incident, the second this year on the city’s most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists from around the world.
An attacker left a note praising the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria fatally shot a police officer on the Champs-Élysées in April, days before a presidential election, prompting an extensive security operation.
On Monday, police cordoned off a broad swath of the Champs-Élysées…