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Champs-Élysées incident: Suspected attacker 'downed' after driving into police car

French police have evacuated the Champs-Elysees in Paris over an incident in which a suspected attacker rammed his car into a police van.

Paris officials said a suspected attacker had been “downed” after he or she drove a car into a police vehicle on the street, which is a popular tourist destination.

The French national gendarmerie service says the driver of a car that rammed a law enforcement vehicle has been arrested and no one was hurt in the incident. 

Witnesses described seeing a car on fire as police cleared the streets, and reporters at the scene described a man wearing a white shirt and dark shorts lying on the ground on his stomach.

Police said a security operation was under way and witnesses said a cordon was being extended across the shopping district down to the Place de la Concorde. Official social media profiles urged people to avoid the area. 

The nearest Metro station to the incident, Champs-Elysées Clémenceau, was closed.

Book-ended by the iconic Arc de Triomphe to the northwest and the seat of French government to the southeast, the Champs-Elysees is popular with tourists.

An attacker pledging allegiance to the Isis jihadist group shot and killed a police officer on the Champs-Elysees in April, days before the presidential election, prompting an extensive security operation. France remains under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamist extremist attacks. 

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