Paris attacker was known to cops as a terror threat

French officials say that a man on the radar of authorities has been killed after ramming a auto carrying explosives into a police vehicle in Paris' Champs-Elysees shopping district, prompting a fiery blast.

"Security forces have been targeted in France once again", France's new Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said, calling the incident an "attempted attack".

Police sources told AFP that a Kalashnikov rifle, handguns and gas bottles were found in the white Renault Megane.

Eric Favereau, a journalist for Liberation newspaper who was driving a scooter behind the gendarmes, said he saw a auto blocking the convoy's path, then an implosion in the vehicle.

- In April, a man shot at police officers - also on the Champs-Elysees - killing one officer and wounding two others.

The 31-year-old driver of the white Renault Mégane set his auto on fire before hitting a police vehicle, with the hopes of creating an explosive impact, said French officials.

The local mayor Sylvain Tanguy said the family was "very discreet and didn't go out much". But both agreed when the mother said, "unfortunately we are now used to this".

The "radicalised" attacker was later pictured being stripped naked by bomb squad officers.

No police or bystanders were injured in the incident on the Champs-Elysees, where a jihadist shot dead a policeman two months ago.

French broadcaster BFMTV said the suspect was a 33-year-old man, who was known to the intelligence services. (French) AP - 4102396 / 1 [00'54] "You know that next Wednesday, I will present, during the cabinet meeting, a draft bill in order to extend the state of emergency".

Some 30 minutes later, the police tweeted that the incident was now under control.

In the Paris incident, eyewitnesses saw the man being pulled from the vehicle as it burned, and footage on the Daily Mail web site later showed an officer stripping clothes from the body. The Paris prosecutor's office has opened an anti-terror investigation into Monday's incident.

Critics have said the security regimen has not prevented attacks and has resulted in warrantless, extrajudicial searches and house arrests.

It imposed emergency security rules in the wake of the 2015 attacks which killed 130 people. The officials weren't authorized to be publicly named.

Vanessa Coleman

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