One man is dead after he drove a car into a police van on the Champs-Élysées in Paris today. The car was filled with weapons and a bomb. Shortly after he rammed police, he was shot. The car caught fire. After, an officer can be seen stripping the clothes off the man in an attempt to see if he was wired with a suicide bomb.
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The 31-year-old rammed the silver Renault Megane into the police van in what is being called a failed suicide attack. The attacker targeted a group of police vans on the Champs Elysee as they drove toward the Arc de Triomphe.
“There was a sudden impact, and then a fireball,” said one officer. “A gas bomb was in the car. 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.”
No word yet on the man’s condition.
“He did not cause any injuries, but the collision was a deliberate act.”
As has become typical in these types of attacks, the police in Paris have gone on high alert. There is a separate report of a vehicle that has been abandoned in a shopping district in the city. It is currently being investigated by bomb squads.
A witness to the first attack told reporters there were “large bangs followed by what sounded like shots fired near a car with smoke coming out of it on Champs Elysees.” The witnesses at the scene were instructed by the police to flee.
Another witness said that the act, which was clearly deliberate, happened quickly. After the car struck the van, a fire broke out inside. Some believe the man tried to ignite the gas bomb, but that it failed to detonate. Instead, the police rushed the car, broke out windows, and pulled the man from the burning wreck.
After the car had been extinguished, the evidence of the bomb was found. The guns were reportedly in the trunk of the car and included handguns and Kalashnikov rifles.