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French Interior Minister Says Driver Dead After Car Rams Police Vehicle In Champs-Elysees Shopping District

French Interior Minister Says Driver Dead After Car Rams Police Vehicle In Champs-Elysees Shopping District

PARIS (CBSNewYork/AP) — Police in Paris said they stopped an attack on police on the famous Champs-Elysees avenue Monday afternoon.

Heavily armed officers have blocked off a section of the popular avenue and bomb squad officers are on the scene of the famed shopping district as the investigation continues.

Authorities said a 31-year-old man deliberately rammed his car packed with explosives into a police vehicle, CBS2 reported.

The driver’s car caught on fire and the man later died.

Paris police said neither gendarmes nor passers-by were injured.

🔴 #ChampsÉlysées Situation maîtrisée, pas de blessé parmi les forces de l’ordre et le public

— Préfecture de police (@prefpolice) June 19, 2017

Police said the driver was previously flagged for extremism.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters near the scene Monday that the man’s motives weren’t immediately clear.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation.

Police had earlier warned people to avoid the neighborhood, one of the French capital’s most popular tourist areas.

Suspected attacker down after ramming vehicle into French police vehicle, according to reports https://t.co/B7NKuUMEnd pic.twitter.com/SD8yIuW4xE

— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 19, 2017

The incident comes months after an attacker defending the Islamic State group shot and killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees in April, days before a presidential election, prompting an extensive security operation.

France is under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

( Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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