At least one police officer was killed, and the attacker neutralised in a shooting in Paris on Thursday, according to CNN affiliate BFM-TV and the French Interior Ministry. The French police has confirmed the incident as a terrorist attack.
The attack started around 9 pm local time in Paris, when a vehicle stopped next to a police vehicle stationed on the side of the road. Policemen were both inside and outside the vehicle. The shooter got out of his car and started firing at the police.
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has issued a statement, via its news agency Amaq, claiming responsibility for the attack. The statement issued by ISIS said that an Islamic State 'fighter' carried out an attack and identified him as a Belgian national named Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki.
According to the Associated Press, French security authorities had previously flagged Beljiki as an extremist. As per French newspaper L’Express, the attacker had a criminal record and had been sentenced to 20 years in jail. The jail term was reduced to 15 years in 2005.
The shooting comes three days before French General Elections and Paris was already in a state of heightened alert. The election, that will follow a highly controversial campaign, could see the left and the right divided on the issue of Islamic extremism and the ways to tackle its growth in France.
With inputs from ANI
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