Attacker kills French policeman, injures two others, IS claims responsibility

France polls Barack Obama Emmanuel Macron

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Well, Ari, like you said, a gunman came up in a auto, shot at policeman and killed one, wounded two others. The Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said both of the officers who were injured are doing better.

The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq news agency, but investigations by authorities are still underway.

Two other officers were seriously wounded in the attack in the popular tourist area in central Paris.

Asked whether the attack was evidence that "Paris isn't Paris" anymore, as claimed by Donald Trump, Ftaiti said the US President is "barking up the wrong tree".

The Champs Elysees attack comes just before France's presidential elections.

But the 55-year-old says visitors to the French "were running, running.Some were crying".

France Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said that "A little after 9 PM a vehicle stopped alongside a police auto which was parked". She said he appeared to act alone.

The gunman, armed with a machine gun, got out of a vehicle and opened fire at the police in front of the store on the street, reports quoted a witness as saying.

Cops have said they are hunting a second suspect who may have been involved in the attack, during which the gunman targeted a patrol vehicle in the busy tourist area of Paris.

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One police officer and the attacker were killed in the incident.

(AP Photo/Thibault Camus) An armed soldier secures a side road near the Champs Elysees Avenue after a policeman was killed and two others were wounded in a shooting incident in Paris, France, April 20, 2017.

He said officers were "deliberately" targeted.

Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said security forces, including elite units, were fully mobilised ahead of Sunday's presidential poll. Belgian authorities said they had no information about the suspect.

Security has been high in France since Tuesday, when police apprehended two men suspected of plotting an imminent terror attack.

A witness said: "We heard shots like a firecracker and we saw an attack on police, we turned and fled".

Belgium first came under the spotlight after investigators said several men based in Brussels plotted and carried out the Paris attacks on November 13, 2015, killing 130 people and wounding hundreds more. But two days ago, police arrested two men in Marseille who had an arsenal in their apartment - guns, explosives.

As of Friday morning local time, leading candidates François Fillon, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen had all canceled campaign events, with Macron citing the extra burden policing political rallies placed on the security services.

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