Terror Attack Strikes Paris Days Before the Presidential Election
Days before a highly contested presidential election, a gunman killed a police officer on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in an apparent terrorist attack. Two other police officers and a bystander were wounded.
The attack took place shortly before 9 p.m. local time.
The 39-year-old killer, named in reports as Karim C and using the alias “Abu Yousuf the Belgian,” was reportedly sentenced to 20 years in prison for attempting to kill police officers, albeit without success, and was released before his sentence had been fully served.
Witnesses told French television reporters that the scene immediately after the shooting was “sudden chaos.”
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which was carried out with a Kalashnikov weapon, and the matter is being treated as a terrorism case by police and prosecutors in Paris.
Police blocked off access to the broad and crowded boulevard, one of the city’s most fashionable shopping streets, while bystanders and tourists scrambled for safety as police searched for possible accomplices.
President François Hollande spoke to the nation shortly before midnight.
“We will have absolute vigilance when it comes to the elections,” he said, “but everyone will understand that at this hour, my thoughts are with the family of the police who were killed and with those close to the wounded policeman.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)