with the bbc world news special on a major anti—terrorist operation in paris. a police officer has been killed and two officers injured in a shooting in the heart of the french capital. you have to stay back, please. it is dangerous. a guardsman was killed on the champs—elysees. —— gunmen. the president says that the motive was clear. translation: we are convinced that the investigations will show that it was terrorist in nature. this is the scene live in paris where the champs—elysees remains sealed. anti—terrorist raids are being carried out. the so—called islamic state says it was behind the attack. hello and welcome to this special coverage. a major anti—terrorist operation is taking place in paris
after a gunman opened fire on a police bus in the capital, killing one officer and winning two others. the incident took place in one of the city's most there boulevard is, at the champs—elysees, which leads from the arc de triomphe down. it was about 300 metres away from the arc de triomphe. the gunman was shot by police. media reports say he was known to the intelligence services, and the police search is under way at his home near paris. islamic state says it carried out the attack, saying that the attack was carried out by someone called abu youssef. will be live in paris in a moment, but first, let's hearfrom cash outflow, who reports from paris. —— katya adler.
you have to stay back, please. the area is dangerous because of shotguns. please stay back. tonight, france's worst fears realised, yet another terror attack and just two days before an all—important presidential election here. 0ne policeman killed, another seriously injured in a shooting on the emblematic and busy champs elysees. translation: i was walking on the pavement, there was a bus full of police, the man parked just in front of the bus, then got out a kalashnikov and then he shot six times. i thought it was fireworks. then he went and hid behind a lorry. translation: we were moving towards a car and i heard two or three shots. i didn't realise they were shots to start with. then there wasjust panic all around, everyone started running down the champs elyseesjust by instinct. i didn't stop to work out what was going on, i just ran, too. the attacker was then shot dead by police.
guns drawn, the police are shooing people of the street. this country which up untiljust now was obsessed by politics and the upcoming election has been thrown back into a sense of fear it was just about recovering from after the mass paris attacks over a year ago. tonight, people in central paris were too scared to leave their homes. the tension is palpable. gunshots. shots are being fired. is it gunshots? no. a sudden noise where we were was mistaken for gunfire and had police shouting us off the street. metro stations in central paris have been shut down for now as armed police spread across the streets of the capital. tonight, paris is fearful, and on high alert. katya adler, bbc news, paris. france's president, francois hollande, has spoken out about the attack. he confirmed that one police officer and the attacker were
killed. a passerby was also injured. he was a little of what he said. translation: we are convinced that the investigations will show that this attack was terrorist in nature. the anti— terror group has been deployed and it will lead the inquiry. it will establish the motivation of the attack and whether anyone else was involved. i have a meeting tomorrow at eight a.m.. we have done everything to mobilise our police and military appropriate to the circumstances. this has been the case for several months. our vigilance will be of the highest order, in particular with regard to the forthcoming election. but every one will understand that at this time, my thoughts are with the family of the police officer who was killed. and also the loved ones of the wounded officers. a national commemoration will be arranged for this police officer, who was the
victim of a cowardly murder. we must all remain aware that our security forces carry out a particularly difficultjob. they are exposed, as we have seen again this evening, and we have seen again this evening, and we can give them a promise of our total support. francois hollande speaking at the attack. we speak now to a french political journalist who lives attack. we speak now to a french politicaljournalist who lives not farfrom politicaljournalist who lives not far from where the attack took place. i did not hear the attack, because i am about 200 yards from where it happen. but what they did here, and which drove me to look at what was going on was that they heard helicopters circling above my head. it is illegal to fly over paris. you could see in the street that you have lots of police making lots of noise. passers—by probably did not know yet, because they were walking calmly about this. but two minutes walk, and the entire avenue was blocked off by police and so on.
you have to realise that the french have always known that the champs—elysees is the most democratic avenue in the country. so it isa democratic avenue in the country. so it is a westerly three well. you a lwa ys it is a westerly three well. you always have patrols. when the state of emergency got into a fact, and you also had army patrols, it was a place where you would have, on a weekend, three quarters of a million shoppers and visitors. in the start of the early evening tonight, it is a mild night, and there must have been at least 100,000 people on it. we had an electoral campaign for the electoral campaign —— presidential campaign. even though there had been a threat that was filed by the police last week, in marseilles, and the killing of a woman that also
worried them, this was a way for —— this was away from most of the campaign. now it has barged back towards the campaigning, especially when all 11 candidates were speaking on television. that was anne moute, a poetical journalist. thomas fessy joins us live now from paris. i guess the latest line is that the paris prosecutor is saying that the gunman has been identified, but we will not have that name confirmed yet. that is right. he has been identified. apparently he was known to the intelligence services. there we re to the intelligence services. there were media reports that he had actually posted his plan to attack police officers on the service messaging telegram before the attack earlier on today. so we have yet to
hear exactly who that man was. but the radical islamist group, the so—called islamic state, has also claimed the attack, and said that the gunman was one of their soldiers, saying it was a belgian gunman. the course, all of this is unconfirmed insofar as the police investigation is concerned. information is coming through bit by bit and we will have a bigger picture —— that are better in the next few hours. at the moment, the police investigation is involving searches for the attacker. they have not ruled out a second attacker.
they are looking to see if there are further plans following tonight's attack. absolutely. and we know that the paris prosecutor will give a press c0 nfe re nce the paris prosecutor will give a press conference during the day. we will find out the time later on. but rates have ta ken will find out the time later on. but rates have taken place, as you mentioned, and the champs—elysees still a large security presence on going on what is normally a very busy, busy road. a famous road all over the world. exactly. the famous champs—elysees is to leap lopped off at the moment. —— totally blocked off. police are down there. all the different sections of the police are working at the crime scene. all the tourists have been asked to back away and the passers—by as well.
tonight, it is the scene of a terror attack. president francois hollande said he was convinced it was an act of terrorism, and one of the most famous avenues was the location, targeted. what is interesting is that the attackers seem to have particularly our desire to target police. as you said, this is a busy avenue. thousands of people at the time of the attack were there. so you can imagine that if the gunmen had turned his gun on to passers—by, it could have been, you know, a lot more casualties. but there was a specific target on the coach that was carrying police officers, who we re
was carrying police officers, who were just parked by the side of the street. that is a good point to make, actually. this car pulling up specifically near this police van. and the french police have come under attack quite a few times, now, in varying, very, very targeted attacks. there seems now to be a wave of support for the police. —— very. exactly. and there is been an outpouring of support for the security officers. the french want to know that they are being protected and president francois hollande wanted to reassure french nationals denied that they are being protected. and with the vote being scheduled for sunday, he said that, obviously, security forces will be on high alert on that day. there is
no doubt that this attack might have an impact on the actual turnout on voting day. whether the french will be fearful of an attack on that day, whether they will be, some of them staying home, or going out to vote, thatis staying home, or going out to vote, that is a big question, now. staying home, or going out to vote, that is a big question, nowm staying home, or going out to vote, that is a big question, now. it is certainly impacted on the campaigning ofa certainly impacted on the campaigning of a number of the presidential candidates, who have said that they will suspend campaigning immediately. 0bviously, friday is a full day of campaigning, saturday is not ahead of the vote on sunday. exactly. the campaign was supposed to end on friday at midnight. some of the candidates, like francois fillon, the candidate for the republicans, and marine le pen, they have said they would not hold the rally is that they were supposed to hold tomorrow. the emmanuel macron, the independent centrist, he will hold his final
rally, despite what happened the night. and the socialist candidate, too. thank you forjoining us, thomas fessy, from paris. we are getting condolences from world leaders. i know that donald trump has ready passed on his condolences. also now a comment from downing street, saying that the uk strongly condemns the appalling terrorist attack in paris and theresa may has passed on her condolences to president francois hollande. the british gunmen paying its respects and condolences to the french country following today's attack on the champs—elysees. we cross back live to paris. you have been on the french election trail since it
began. catherine, that is something that we were speaking about with our corresponded in paris. we heard how to the candidates have suspended their campaigning on friday for the rest of friday. this is the last day of campaigning. will this have an impact? what is your reading of what has happened on the champs—elysees will this have an impact on this first round of the elections?” think there really is a sense that this is going to impact on how french people vote, how they behave over this election weekend. we know that france has been quite a tense place in the past few days since police averted a potential attack just a couple of days ago. it is going to be hard, though, to see, before election day itself, what the impact is on how voters are thinking. because actually, as of friday, which it now is in france, opinion polls have now stopped.
there is a moratorium on them in the days before and a lecture. —— election day. as you said, friday is the last full day of campaigning, as well. so in terms of how voters are into this, we are not to find out until 8pm on sunday when polls close. you mentioned that some candidates have cancelled events. francois fillon and marine le pen we re francois fillon and marine le pen were quite quick to cancel campaign events for tomorrow. the socialist party candidate, the same party as president francois hollande, he has cancelled a visit to young apprentices in the paris region tomorrow morning, saying this is out of respect to the victims of the attack on the champs—elysees. however, he is still planning to go down to toulouse, a socialist heartland, and deliver a final campaign speech on friday evening. we are seeing how this is putting candidates in a difficult position.
they have been expressing their condolences and sympathy for the victims. but at the same time, this is, as we know, an absolutely key election for france. absolutely. but in terms of... france has had a lot of these attacks comparatively. it has been under a state of emergency since the attack on the bataclan. when it comes to issues on the campaign trail, was security as high as the concerns about that's an interesting one. the economy has been a dominant campaign issue but we have had quite a lot of talk about security in various degrees from the different candidates. francois fillon and marine le pen, the centre—right candidate and marine le pen, the extreme right candidate for the national front, they've extreme right candidate for the nationalfront, they've had a bigger focus on security. and all of the
candidates have been asked questions about weather they would maintain that state of emergency that france is still under. it's an incredibly controversial subject in france, many see it as an attack on civil liberties. it gives police extra powers to carry out raids without the usual delays and paperwork that the usual delays and paperwork that the police might need to get from judges and that sort of thing. francois fillon and marine le pen have been coming out very strongly in favour of more security measures, of reinforcing security inside and outside of french borders. we've had interesting reaction on that front from a emmanuel macron, the centrist candidate, who was formerly a minister in the socialist government, he's been talking about the need to reinforce security inside france but also the need to fight extremism outside france, talking more about the root causes and the inspirations for this kind of attack. we've also got the far
far left candidate, artault, she's not expected to get a high score but she has an equal amount of time for campaigning in the media. she has come out to say we must reject any conflation of terrorists and immigrants, which is where quite a lot of comment is going if we are looking on social media at the moment. we know that people of a foreign background are often suspected of committing attacks, weather rightly or only in france, there have been attacks carried out by people with a foreign background and without. any time anything like this happens many people's minds insta ntly this happens many people's minds i nsta ntly go this happens many people's minds instantly go to the suspicion that immigration and tighter immigration could be the way to stop this. it's one of those issues that will naturally come up time and time again. a very sensitive issue. you
spoke about media presence, the timing of this attack, it took place while the main candidates, the main presidential candidates, were taking pa rt presidential candidates, were taking part in this, it wasn't so much of a debate but a tv programme where they had the ability to give their opinions when questioned by two french journalists. opinions when questioned by two frenchjournalists. 0bviously opinions when questioned by two french journalists. 0bviously that had to be cancelled... not cancelled, it was delayed i guess. some of them went first and then it was delayed while more details emerge about this attack then it carried on. tell us how that worked out. indeed. this televised event was a hotly anticipated one in france. it wasn't a debate, that in itself was controversial, it was a sick session of short interviews with each of the candidates. the news this attack happened came and while hamon was speaking. i had the tv on and i was looking to see when
are they going to interrupt this programme to let the viewers know there's been an attack on the champs elysee. that did finally come after another candidate had spoken. it's one of those situations in live tv where it must be difficult to know at what point you interrupt the programme to bring that in. by the end of the programme all the candidates were able to get some reaction and as they left the studio, that's when we really started easy more of a barrage of reaction, such as tweets and that kind of thing. there was a lot of reaction online, particularly for those candidates initially who have their chance to speak before the confirmation took place on this attack —— of this attack on the champs elysee. in terms of the first round of the presidential vote being delayed or postponed, there's no chance of that, is there? at the
moment nobody has been talking about that. i personally wouldn't expect that. i personally wouldn't expect that to happen. we know the president, prime minister and interior minister are busy dealing with the incident. the interior minister hasjust been with the incident. the interior minister has just been on the champs elysee paying homage to the police and talking about the ongoing investigation. there is definitely no indication from anyone in the government at this point that the vote would be delayed, that would be com pletely vote would be delayed, that would be completely unprecedented here in france. we know that the french authorities have upped security around various political campaign events in reaction to the threats we have seen in recent days at this large rally at place de la republique n central paris last night for the centrist candidate, there was a strong police presence and extra barriers and searches on
members of the public coming in and out of the area —— in. i would expect we are going to see more of a reinforcement of security. president hollande, when he spoke a few minutes ago, he said directly to the french people, we are going to protect you and all necessary measures will be taken, so no inkling from him that there will be any delay to sunday's vote. thank you for speaking to ask, anchor for france 2a, very much across the election campaign trail —— to us. we are looking now at approximately six attacks in the last three years that they have suffered in france and asa that they have suffered in france and as a direct result, not only
have they developed their capability in terms of responding, but also drawn from the international community, who have been more than willing, certainly their cou nterpa rts willing, certainly their counterparts in the us, the uk and elsewhere, to refine and adapt their capability. i'm reluctant to give them much airtime but so—called islamic state have been very quick at this time to claim this attack. this is an interesting one because as we know, it used usually takes them a while to get their comments out and them a while to get their comments outand in them a while to get their comments out and in many regards that is because it will be an individual not directly linked in the traditional sense we saw with al-qaeda in the past where it was run through a chain of command and a hierarchy where the individual would obviously be instructed to carry out these attacks. what we're seeing more prolifically these days, particularly from islamic state, our individuals carrying out these attacks in the name of islamic state. in this incident what we have seen as a state. in this incident what we have seen as a fast response from islamic state to actually claim
responsibility. —— is. what is emerging is this information was —— individual was known to the french equivalent of m15. he was very much on the radar. certainly in the wake of the plot that was foiled two days ago in marseille, where two very well noted extremists and jihadists we re well noted extremists and jihadists were arrested, who were plotting a very significant potential attack directed against obviously politicians. we are seeing live images from paris, the security operation under way from mike on the champs elysee, and we getting details from reuters that the interior ministry has identified the gunmen but they are still working out if he had accomplices. if he acted alone there must be information that other people would have known how he got the gun, that something like this was being
planned. would you say... there is no such thing as a lone gunmen as such? i agree entirely. there is no such? i agree entirely. there is no such thing as a lone gunmen. even if they are radicalising themselves within the comfort of their own home, they are still going to be communicating online, potentially in forums, they will be radicalised through some process, more likely than not online as we are seeing more and more these days so some form of connectivity in some shape orform. the use form of connectivity in some shape or form. the use of the firearm seems to be from various reports an ak-47 seems to be from various reports an ak—lﬂ kalashnikov, this is not a readily available firearm in france. if it had been a shotgun or a hunting rifle, that would have been much more accessible. but an ak—47 and the ammunition used is not that easy and that would either have come
from a criminal connection or possibly by a cell or resource that was supporting jihadist activities. the more information coming from the paris prosecutor, police raids on going after this shooting, that would be expected, wouldn't it? where are the raids and what are they looking for now, will? there are reports coming through and i'm really cautious always at this stage, especially early on, to follow u p stage, especially early on, to follow up on any reports coming through in to authorities give it credence and come out with a definitive statement but it's believed the perpetrator has got some connectivity to brussels and potentially to the molenbeek community that we have seen a lot of jihadists that have struck in france coming from. certainly they'll be looking at any connectivity to other groups, known associates, and especially to the individual‘s apartment, which we believe the authorities are already over and fore nsically authorities are already over and forensically they will sift through phones, laptops, anything they can
to dry and fine any indication of other plots that are potentially in the festering line —— try to find. and also other associates that could be planning other actions. raids are ongoing as we speak. also the security services are saying they know the identity of the person responsible but they won't be issuing that name until they have established whether that person was acting alone or whether the person had accomplices, so we are yet to get confirmation on the name. the french interior spokesman pierre—henry brandet gave reporters this briefing a short while ago on what was known about the events in paris so far. translation: just before 9pm in front of 100 and two ave champs elysee, a vehicle stopped next to a police vehicle, which was carrying out public order and traffic duties
working under the direction of the prefecture of police —— 102. this police vehicle was stationary with operatives inside and some police officers were carrying out duties on the pavement nearby. a manjumped out of this vehicle and opened fire on the police vehicle, fatally wounding one officer from the paris police force. 0ne wounding one officer from the paris police force. one man then tried to jump police force. one man then tried to jump onto the pavement targeting police officers there, he wounded two of them and they sustained serious injuries. the two officers that were wounded and other police officers that were nearby returned fire and the attacker was killed. the surrounding area was locked down immediately with emergency response units to secure that zone deployed. as for the identity of the attacker, that has not been declared. any information is not trustworthy, we are only at the beginning of this investigation. it is ongoing. just
as the security zone around the champs elysee remains in place. we cannot exclude that there may also be one or more accomplices that may have assisted in someway the commission of this crime, but the main thing we have established from witness statements and from forensic evidence is that there was only one attacker. the french interior spokesman. that was the interior minister, pierre—henri brandet. we are hearing that the attack was a 39—year—old, but the details of the man's name is not been divulged until they are sure if there were any confidences. —— converses. downing street's spokesman has said they condemn the attack. theresa may has passed on her condolences to president francois hollande. and earlier at a
press co nfe re nce francois hollande. and earlier at a press conference with each other by minister, donald trump had this response. our condolences to the people of france, again. it happens, as you see, i saw it as again. it happens, as you see, i saw itasi again. it happens, as you see, i saw it as i was walking in. it is a terrible thing that is going on in the world today. it's a very terrible thing that's going on in the world today but it looks like another terrorist attack and what can you say? it just never ends. we have to be strong and we have to be vigilant and i've been saying for long time. we recap the streetsmart. their major anti—terrorist operations taking place