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Homeland Security

Hollande: Paris Shooting Looks Like Terrorism

By VOA News April 20, 2017

French President Francois Hollande says all signs point to terrorism in Thursday night's attack on the Champs-Elysees in Paris that killed one policeman and wounded two others.

Hollande said on French television that security will be tightened ahead of Sunday's presidential election.

"We shall be of the utmost vigilance, especially in relation to the election," the president told the nation.

Details on what happened are still sketchy, but according to witnesses, a gunman jumped out of a car near a subway station and opened fire with a machine gun. He was killed by police gunfire. It is unclear if anyone else was involved.

Islamic State is claiming responsibility through its news agency. It identifies the shooter as Abu Yussef, a Belgian, calling him "one of Islamic State's fighters."

Paris police have yet to respond to IS' claim, but reports say the gunman was known to them.

Police have closed off a large part of the Champs-Elysees, one of the world's most renown boulevards and popular with residents and tourists for its countless shops and restaurants.

In Washington, President Donald Trump sent condolences to the French people. He called the attack "a terrible thing," and said it was another example of the sort of violence that "never ends."

France is on edge ahead of Sunday's presidential election, with a very close outcome expected. The country is still feeling the effects of a series of deadly Islamic terrorist attacks over the past two years that killed more than 200 people.

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