ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack in Paris that occurred overnight, killing a police officer and leaving two more injured.
Per Nine News, the attack happened on the central Parisian boulevard of Champs Elysees, when a gunman open fired on officers after stopping next to a stationary police car around 9pm local time (5am AEST).
Per Nine News, France’s Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the suspect used “a weapon of war” – believed to be an automatic weapon.
“A man immediately got out and opened fire on the police car, fatally wounding a police officer … He also wounded a second one, it would seem very seriously,” he said.
The gunman was subsequently shot dead by authorities.
The Champs Elysees boulevard, usually bustling with tourists and Parisians, was blocked by armed police and metro stations in the area were closed.
ISIS claimed on its Amaq news agency that the attacker – of Belgian descent and known to police as an extremist – was a man by the name of “Abu Yusuf al-Beljiiki”.
Per The Australian, Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press that the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station at the centre of the avenue, an area typically filled with tourists.
Authorities are advising people to steer clear of the area. (Twitter)
France is currently in a state of emergency, with the highest possible level of alert since a number of terror attacks began unfolding in 2015, and has seen 230 people killed in total.
Per The Oz, there are thousands of troops and armed police guarding tourist hotspots such as the Champs Elysees and other potential targets like government buildings and religious sites.
The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at the Louvre museum in February and Orly Airport last month.
It also comes three days ahead of France’s first round of balloting for its presidential election, and per The Oz, tensions are high, with police claiming to have stopped another potential terror attack on Tuesday.