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 c0 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 in paris after a gunman opened fire on a police bus in a
pa rt opened fire on a police bus in a part of the french capital. —— in the heart. he killed one of and wounded two others. it took place on the champs—elysees, which leads from the champs—elysees, which leads from the arc de triomphe to be manager. it happened 300 metres away from the arc de triomphe itself. the government got out of the car and fired an automatic weapon, before being shot dead by police. media reports say he was known to the intelligence services, at a police search is under way at his home, near paris. the islamic state group says it carried out the shooting, naming the attacker as a belgian, a view user. it comes days before the first round of the french president to elections. —— abu youssef. 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. moments after the shooting, reporters at the scene were able to speak to reporters at the scene were able to speakto an reporters at the scene were able to speak to an eyewitness, who said that he saw the attack unfolds. he described how he saw the gunmen use what he thought was a kalashnikov. this is what he said. translation: so i came out and was
walking on the pavement. and there was a policeman ban and a man came along in an old grey audi. he parked behind the van and get out with a kalashnikov. i had six gunshots. i thought they were fireworks. we looked down the road and there was no one. he was hidden behind the van, shooting at the police. i think he hit one. as soon as the police got out of the van, he fell. as soon as we saw that, we ran back inside. we hid and when up to the first floor, and we saw shoot him. francois hollande has spoken about the attack. he confirmed that in addition to a police officer and attacker being killed, two other police officers were injured. here is what he had to say. translation: we are convinced the investigations will show that this attack was terrorist in nature. the anti—terrorist group has been deployed and it will leave the enquiry. it will establish the motivation of the attack and whether anyone else was involved.
i am convening a defence meeting tomorrow morning at 8am. we have done everything to mobilise our police and military in a way appropriate to the circumstances. this has been the case for several months. 0ur vigilance will be of the highest order, in particular with regard to the forthcoming election. but everyone 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, that they are exposed, as we've seen again this evening, and they can count on the total support of our nation. so, president francois hollande
that. we take you live to that famous boulevard, where the security operation is still very much ongoing. as you can see, they are, the security services are still closing down, closing off that famous boulevard. we are getting a few more details from our paris correspondent about the man who carried out that attack on the champs—elysees. according to reports from the french media, they are saying that he is a 39—year—old from the eastern paris suburbs. it is important to stress that these are reports from french media. but the paris prosecutor and the french authorities are not giving his name out yet. they say that they do know her ears, but they are not giving his name out, yet, because they want to find out whether he had an accomplice. —— know who is. but according to french media, a
property has been searched by investigators, and they want to know who else, if anyone, might have known his plans, but according to french media, this man spent years in prison forfiring on police officers in the year 2000. details are coming through. but again, none of this has been confirmed by the french authorities. let's speak to oui’ correspondence french authorities. let's speak to our correspondence in paris. thomas fessy joins us live now from paris. some details coming through, but the authorities are saying that they will not be confirming the identity of this person until they are sure as to whether he had any converses. yes. i think that we will have a much clearer picture. by now, we know that the man has been identified. he was known from the security services and the
intelligence services, and that he had actually posted his plan to carry out to attack police officers on the service messaging, telegram. that is as much as we know tonight. we also know that the police issued an arrest warrant for a second potential suspect. they are obviously searching for the home of the attacker, as well. possibly potential converses. this was targeted at the police. the mantra of up toa targeted at the police. the mantra of up to a police van. 0nce targeted at the police. the mantra of up to a police van. once again, french police were the subject of a targeted attack. —— man drove up to. exactly. the man clearly had the police in mind. he could obviously
have opened fire on crowds of tourists and passers—by. but he targeted a van. in a way, carnage has been avoided, they are, because if he had turned his weapon on crowds of people, it could have been more of a bloodbath. but it seems that the target really was men in uniforms, the police, and the reaction of the police obviously limited the number of casualties and so far we know that one police officer died in the attack, and two others have been wounded. once again, it is figures of authority, as you say, people in uniform. we have the attack on soldiers at the louvre, in the centre of paris. we
also had the soldier being attacked at the 0rly airport. this will be, for a country in a state of emergency, a worrying development. extremely. but in a way, not very surprising, any more, to french people, who have come to be used to living with that kind of threat. as you said, france has been in a state of emergency for nearly two years, now. the french have gotten to be used to living with soldiers in the streets, with armed police patrolling train stations and the streets of their cities. just a few days go, the intelligence services said that they had uncovered a plan
to attack a presidential candidate ora to attack a presidential candidate or a rally down in the southern city of marseille. so in a way, terrorism was thrown back into the presidential campaign, which is still under way. some of the candidates have said they would suspend their campaign immediately. some others have said that they would carry on with their final rallies tomorrow. there is no doubt that french voters will have this latest attack in mind when they will go to the polls on sunday. and there will be french voters who will probably think that it would be safer for them to stay home. so we have yet to see how much of an impact this will have on the turnout of that first round of election. impact this will have on the turnout of that first round of electionm is could bring up the first round,
thomas. how important has security beenin thomas. how important has security been in the whole debate leading up to the election on sunday? 0r been in the whole debate leading up to the election on sunday? or is it more things like unemployment, the economy. . . more things like unemployment, the economy... what has been the focus of people's attention in the debate? interestingly enough, security and terrorism has not been the actual focus of this campaign. first of all, the campaign has been marred by alleged corruption scandals, and all kinds of scandals that were, that candidates had to respond to. but as you said, unemployment of the economy is very much what has been the focus of this campaign. but also did distrust of the political class. the course, you have hardline candidates, like marine le pen, for example. she has been talking about
security and closing borders and reinforcing the police services. but on the whole, terrorism has not been the focus of this campaign. just days before, a few days before the vote, here it comes, and attack or a plan of attack that is foiled by intelligence services in marseilles. and now an actual attack in paris with one dead police officer, shot dead on the avenue des champs—elysees. that is obviously a worrying developmentjust three days before the vote. yes, and thomas, give us a bit more detail, in case some of our viewers have not been aware of what happened in marseilles, the foiled attack. 0ne of the presidential candidates was the subject of this? just explain a little bit more. so it is unclear
exactly what the purpose of the attack was. intelligence services believe that either a presidential candidate was a target, or a rally could have been the target of the attack. but explosives and guns were found at the home of the suspects, who arrested a few days ago by intelligence services. these were people who had been watched by the intelligence services for some time. and it is... measures have been put in place during the state of emergency, that allowed the police to search their home and arrest them before an attack could be carried out. and thomas. this security detail has unsurprisingly been increased? the
detail has unsurprisingly been increased ? the oral security situation, the security services, have they upped their game? they must have, given the number of attacks that france has had to endure. exactly. over the last two yea rs, endure. exactly. over the last two years, a endure. exactly. over the last two yea rs, a state endure. exactly. over the last two years, a state of emergency has been declared. and you have thousands of soldiers deployed out in the streets of every city in the country. the french are now used to seeing soldiers with guns out in the streets, patrolling the neighbourhoods, armed police, as well, all around the city. when you look at the avenue des champs—elysees, just before the attack, you had several buses full of police officers deployed there, encase anything happens. so very much the threat is being taken very seriously here. it has been taken
seriously here. it has been taken seriously in the last two years. there is no doubt that the french will have that in mind when they go to vote on sunday. president francois hollande has wanted to reassure french nationals tonight. he said that they should feel protected and that the security forces were there to protect citizens and that they were doing their job, citizens and that they were doing theirjob, and citizens and that they were doing their job, and that citizens and that they were doing theirjob, and that the vote should happen as planned. the security effort today, they were so swift on the scene, credit to them for how quickly they reacted. exactly. i think it shows that the police know the kind of threat they are facing. the swift reaction, we are facing. the swift reaction, we are talking about minutes during which the police reacted, they were swiftly at the scene and the attacker. nobody knows if the
attacker. nobody knows if the attacker would have turned his weapon on the crowds of tourists and passers—by after he shot dead the police officer. so obviously the swift reaction of the police limited the number of casualties tonight. turning back to the election. 0bviously turning back to the election. obviously the first round takes place on sunday. what happens if no candidate wins a majority? give us a timeline of what happens next going forward in this election. the first two candidates who come out of this first round will be going head to head ina first round will be going head to head in a run—off in two weeks time on the seventh of may and then they will have to win a 50% majority to be able to become president. at the
moment you still have four candidates who are extremely close in the polls, marine le pen from the national front, but also the independent centrist emmanuelle macron and francois fillon from the republicans, and melenchon, a hard left candidate. they are also close to each other that it makes the election so unpredictable. it is the first time ever an election is so unpredictable that it is too close to call. for the time being, thank you for talking asked through all of today's events. for all of our viewers justjoining us, a recap of what has taken place today. at around 9pm local time in paris, the centre of paris, the
champs elysee, that famous boulevard, and attack took place when a gunman pulled up alongside a police van and opened fire, killing a police officer and wounding two others and also wounding a passerby. this incident took place on the champs elysee, that incredibly well—known boulevard leading from the arc de triomphe to the plaster lack on court. —— place de la concorde. it is understood to have happened to the western end of the boulevard, 300 metres away from the arc de triomphe itself. the gunman getting out of the car and firing an automatic weapon. we've heard eyewitnesses said they believe they saw a kalashnikov before they were shot dead by police. media reports are saying the intelligence services know the identity of the gunman. he was known to intelligence services but obviously we will not have that
name confirmed until the intelligence services are fully happy with whether he had accomplices, whether they can confirm this person had accomplices or not. police searches are under way at his home and we were discussing this just now, this incident happens days before the first round of the french presidential election. president hollande saying he is convinced this was terrorism—related. very soon after the attack took place, much quicker than expected, the islamic state group taking responsibility. that is something they tend to do so a lot later in an event like this. this obviously is a developing situation. an investigation taking
place and that security operation very much under way still on the champs elysee. earlier my colleague martine croxall spoke to sir peter ricketts who was uk ambassador to france between 2012 and 2016 and began by asking for his reaction to events in paris. well, this does have all the hallmarks of another terrorist attack, doesn't it? it's a deliberate, targeted attack on one of the highest profile streets in france and police. with thousands of tourists and people around, as they would be on any evening. so this clearly was intended to attract the maximum attention at a very sensitive time in france just before the election. how significant, then, is the location? well, it is highly symbolic. you cannot think of a more symbolic french target, i suppose, than the champs—elysees.
this was calculated to have maximum impact, and it has had one. some of the eyewitnesses have said that they felt that the police were very much the target, here, when there were of course probably many other people out on the street. as far as we are aware, they were unharmed. so the police were a significant target? initial reports said they pulled up next to the police fan and shot at the policemen. of course, there are many police on the champs elysees at any time. so yes, there are a lot of enquiries to be done, but it looks like a targeted attack on the police force in france. you were the ambassador in paris during some very tumultuous times. there has really been a state of emergency in place for some time. what more can be
police do in terms of providing more security? i don't think much more. there are 50,000 extra security forces on the street before the elections on sunday. the experience in paris from the bataclan attacks a year and a half ago, they were determined not to let the tourists change their intentions. i think that the response will be not to be cowed by the attack. so this shows that france is at a very high—level of threat at the moment especially after the arrest of two jihadists moment especially after the arrest of twojihadists in moment especially after the arrest of two jihadists in marseille a couple of days ago.
francois fillon, according to reuters, has been calling for the election campaign to be suspended. how likely is that, given what you said about friends wanted to show what normal life can carry on? i think he has talked about suspending his campaign. it is now really only one day of campaigning anyway in this election campaigning anyway in this election campaign because saturday, the day before the election, is a day when no campaigning is allowed. in practice the campaigning for the first round is almost over anyway. i think it is hard to see that they will in the voting on sunday. i think the logic would be that france should carry on and show that they are not going to be frightened away from this hugely important democratic exercise that they are now on the point of conducting. in terms of the timing, how coincidental is it that this presidential debate was taking place this evening? i don't think we know the answer to that. but it surely is no coincidence that this attack has happened just a couple of days before the first round of the french presidential elections. the major democratic moment in
france in the five—year cycle. it feels to me like the timing was deliberate in that sense. sir peter ricketts, the former uk ambassador to paris. walid haddad was in a cafe and heard the gunfire. he explained what he saw. i was sitting at a cafe in front of the famous george v hotel. approximately 300—a00 metres from where the shootings happened. i was inside, i was indoors. where the shootings happened. i was inside, iwas indoors. i heard where the shootings happened. i was inside, i was indoors. i heard very strong noises and at the beginning i think it was high construction noises, things like that. but i left the cafe three minutes later in order to head to the champs elysee andi order to head to the champs elysee and i started to see many people
quite scared and running in the opposite way of mine. lots of frightened people. saying you definitely have to get out of here. soi definitely have to get out of here. so i started to run on the opposite side. we could see very quickly plenty of police cars, even helicopters, one or two helicopters over the sector with some cameras on the helicopters, so i guess they we re the helicopters, so i guess they were still tracking. but the reaction of the police was really fast. yes, that's something we were certainly hearing, that the police we re certainly hearing, that the police were there very very quickly and that's something you can confirm? yes, ican that's something you can confirm? yes, i can confirm that the police did a really greatjob in this period of high in security and risk, the policemen did theirjob. the
reaction was very fast and they secured the section and they blocked the traffic in less than i would say maximum 15 minutes. the champs elysee and the surrounding streets we re elysee and the surrounding streets were completely blocked to all traffic. what advice now are you receiving from police, what are they telling you? i'm now a bit more far now than where i used to be. i'd say acre kilometre or a bit less from the champs elysee. i'm at a friends place now and the sector was blocked a few hours ago from going outside, a few hours ago from going outside, a very big did talk to do. the advice is to avoid totally the sector of the champs elysee. i guess it is completely closed now because
you have a lot of the scientific police and all sorts of... all types of police who are now going to investigate. till now it is totally for bidon. the champs elysee is such a famous place, it is known all over the world. give us a flavour of what it is like of an evening, how busy it is like of an evening, how busy it is, how people are roman are doing. definitely. -- promenading. we are in spring, the good weather is coming back, it is thursday night now so normally the champs elysee is a very busy district. for tourists and peruvian people, you have many bars and cafes open late, you can even do some late shopping —— parisi and people. it is a big melting pot