A gunman shot at policemen on Paris’s most famous avenue, the Champs Elysées on Thursday night. Here is what is known so far:
1. France has become a prime target of the Islamic State guerrilla war on Europe. AP lists the November 13, 2015 attacks of the nightclub and vicinity os Saint Denis, and the June 13, June 14, and July 26 terrorist attacks. AP also noted the Charlie Hebdo massacre of January 7, 2015.
These terrorist attacks caused the deaths of 230 people.
2. On Thursday evening, April 20, a man shot and killed a Paris police officer and injured two other officers and a tourist on the Champs Elysées:
France’s National Police union said on Twitter that a gunman fired at a police car stopped at a red light, killing an officer.
The man got out his car to fire on the officers, according to CNN.
Pierre-Henry Brandet, the Interior Ministry spokesman, said the gunman “then ran away, managing to shoot and wound two other policemen.”
shot two officers in 2001 after being stopped by a police car, the source said. He was taken into custody but while being questioned grabbed another officer’s gun and shot him three times. He was convicted in that attack and had a criminal record because of involvement in violent robberies, the source said.
L’Express (link in French) reports that Cheurfi was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003, his term was reduced to 15 years in 2005 following appeal, and was released early in 2016.
4. ISIS claimed credit: The U.K.’s Daily Mirror reports
The hardline militant group claimed the attack, which also wounded two other police officers.
5. The attack took place during a prime time TV “debate” between all 11 official presidential candidates.
The leading candidates had different reactions:
Emmanuel Macron warned that France would have to live with the terror threat “for years to come”.
François Fillon called for all campaigning to be suspended.
Marine Le Pen cancelled one campaign stop, and called for France to “immediately” take back control of its own borders from the European Union and deport all foreigners on a terror watchlist.
Phillipe Poutou blamed French politics and discrimination against people living in the banlieues.
France is holding presidential elections on Sunday, April 23rd.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.