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Attacker killed after ramming car in police vehicle in Paris

Paris: A 31-year-old man on a jihadist watchlist rammed a vehicle loaded with guns and a gas bottle into a police van on the Champs-Elysees Monday but inflicted no casualties, in the latest of a string of attacks in Paris, sources said.Interior Minister Gerard Collomb called it an “attempted attack” and said it “shows once again that the threat level in France is extremely high”.Paris police say a security operation is underway in the Champs-Elysees shopping district and are urging people to avoid the area.It came after people took to social media to report that a vehicle had caught fire in the area.Police said they are treating the incident as a terrorist attack.Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said bomb disposal experts were on the scene to “ensure the vehicle poses no further danger”. France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.The auto hit the front of the van as it was overtaking a convoy of police vehicles, a police spokeswoman said.Mr Collomb said he will present a bill on Wednesday at a cabinet meeting to extend the state of emergency from July 15, its current expiration date, until November 1.There are usually a large number of police and police vehicles in the area as it is near a police station.Police forces secure the area on the Champs Elysées in Paris, Monday, June 19, 2017.Visitors to an art exhibit of Auguste Rodin’s works in central Paris were confined inside the Grand Palais for an hour after an attacker rammed into a police convoy on the nearby Champs-Elysees.A man could be seen lying on his stomach on the ground immediately after the incident, wearing a white shirt and dark shorts.Victoria Boucher and daughter Chrystel came in from the suburb of Cergy-Pontoise for a Paris visit and were not afraid to go to the famed avenue.Chrystel said that “we were better off inside than outside”.A policeman was shot dead and two others were wounded in an attack on the Champs Elysees in April, just days before the presidential election.The local mayor Sylvain Tanguy said the family was “very discreet and didn’t go out much”. The account didn’t say what happened to the occupant of the auto afterward.Sylvie Corbet and Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.