A man on the radar of French authorities for extremism was killed Monday after ramming a vehicle carrying arms and explosives into a police convoy on Paris' famed Champs-Elysees Avenue, setting off a fiery blast and a cloud of orange smoke, officials said.
A vehicle carrying two gas canisters, two handguns and one Kalashnikov collided with a police auto near the Champs-Elysées in Paris around 3:40 p.m. local time Monday, and the incident is being investigated as an act of terror, the Paris prosecutor's office confirmed to ABC News.
The driver, who had a weapon inside the vehicle, was knocked unconscious and is seriously injured, French media report.
French Interior Ministry spokesperson Pierre-Henry Brandet told reporters the small white auto burst into flames shortly after colliding with the police mobile unit, and that the driver has died as a result. 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.
Gerard Collomb told reporters near the scene Monday that the man's motives weren't immediately clear. Collomb also said the suspect is now dead.
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A report on France's BFM TV said the man was known to security services and had been carrying a gas bottle in the vehicle.
A policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in an attack on the Champs Élysées in April, just days before the presidential election.
Police say the situation is now under control, with no one injured, BBC reported. Police say there was a gas canister inside the vehicle.
The tweet Monday confirmed an attack had taken place on Paris' famed Champs-Elysees. Paris police said neither gendarmes nor passers-by were injured.
BREAKING: Paris officials: Suspected attacker "downed" after driving into police auto on Champs-Elysees.
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The police and the army have consistently been attacked by extremists in France.
Paris police say a security operation is underway in the Champs-Elysees shopping district and are urging people to avoid the area.
Police searched on Monday night the residence the suspect shared with his family in Plessis-Pate, a town about 40 minutes' drive from central Paris.
A subway station in the area is closed.
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