Paris attack: 1 killed, 3 injured in shooting near Champs-Élysées; ISIS names attacker as Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki

Sriparna Ghosh
Masked police stand on top of their vehicle on the Champs Elysees Avenue

A gunman opened fire near Paris's most iconic boulevard, Champs-Élysées, late on Thursday which left a police officer dead and injured three. The gunman was shot dead by police when he tried to flee on foot. The Islamic State (ISIS) group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and named the attacker as Abu Yusuf al-Beljiki.

The incident, which took place just three days before the Presidential election on Sunday (April 23), has stirred fears of a terrorist attack among citizens. Situation has become tense following the attack. Candidates have either cancelled or rescheduled the final campaign events ahead of Sunday's first round vote.

Security tightened

Police have beefed up security. The area, which is a hub of restaurants and high-end stores, has also been cordoned off and tourists have been ordered to remain in hotels.

Early on Friday, investigators searched a home in an eastern suburb of Paris as they suspect that it is linked to the attack. According to Associated Press, the house belongs to the family of 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi, who has criminal history. Cherufi was earlier convicted for attacking a police officer in 2001.

Though the gunman has been identified, the prosecutor has refused to reveal his name until investigators determine whether he had accomplices. 

Paris leaders speak

Meanwhile, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet has said that authorities are trying to determine whether "one or more people" might have helped the attacker who used an automatic weapon to open fire.

At around midnight, President François Hollande said in an address to the nation that the attack appeared to be an act of terrorism as the Islamic State had claimed responsibility in a message posted on a jihadi TV channel. He even held an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

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