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Islamic State claims Paris shooting that left police officer dead

Police check passersby near the Champs Elysees in Paris after a shooting which left one officer dead and two wounded
FRANCK FIFE (AFP)
Hollande said that the shooting was suspected to be 'of a terrorist nature'

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the fatal shooting in Paris of a police officer on Thursday, in a statement by the jihadists' propaganda agency Amaq.

"The perpetrator of the attack in Champs Elysee in central Paris is Abu Yussef the Belgian and he is one of the Islamic State's fighters," it said.

French President Francois Hollande said that the shooting was suspected to be "of a terrorist nature."

He promised "absolute vigilance" in the next two days ahead of presidential elections on Sunday and paid tribute to a policeman killed in the shooting as well as another two injured officers.

The Interior Ministry said the attack targeted police officers, and anti-terror prosecutors said they opened a probe into the shooting.

THOMAS SAMSON (AFP)

US President Donald Trump said the incident "looks like another terror attack."

The shooting comes just two days after police arrested two men in southern Marseille with weapons and explosives who were suspected of preparing an attack.

France is in a state of emergency and at its highest possible level of alert since a string of terror attacks that began in 2015, which have killed over 230 people.

Thousands of troops and armed police have been deployed to guard tourist hot spots such as the Champs-Élysées or other potential targets like government buildings and religious sites.

The nation goes to the polls on Sunday for the first round of a presidential election. Marine Le Pen of the strongly anti-immigration National Front is widely expected to advance to the election's second round in May.

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