PARIS (Sputnik) — A man drove a car that contained weapons and explosives into a French gendarmerie van in the center of Paris on Monday and died in the incident, without hurting police or passers-by.
The incident occurred at about 4 p.m. local time (14:00 GMT) at Avenue Champs-Elysees, a couple hundred feet away from the presidential palace.
"Weapons and explosives located in the car were the cause of the explosion. The man died, the anti-terrorism division of the Paris prosecutor’s office has been tasked with the investigation," French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters.
The site of the incident was promptly cordoned off, the world-famous avenue secured, a nearby metro station closed. Neither police nor any civilians have been injured in the incident, according to the latest data,
ATTACKER KNOWN TO SPECIAL SERVICES
The investigators will have to find out whether the driver was acting alone or with accomplices.
A gas tank, several weapons, including one Kalashnikov rifle, and numerous cartridges were reportedly found in the car. The de-mining operation is still ongoing.
ON HIGH SECURITY ALERT
This incident is the second attack to have taken place at Champs-Elysees in the latest months. On April 20, a few days before the first round of the French presidential elections, police officers were attacked, with one dead and another one injured as the result. The perpetrator was shot down by the police.
France adopted the state of emergency following the 2015 attacks in Paris and it has been prolonged several times.