Latest: Paris attacker who was flagged for extremism dies from burns

Update 6.47pm: The driver who rammed a car carrying explosives into a police convoy on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris has died after the "attempted attack" on security forces, France's interior minister said.

Gerard Collomb told reporters that the man's motives were not immediately clear.

Bomb squad officers are at the scene on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists.

France's anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident.

No police officers or passers-by were hurt, the Paris police department said.

Two police officials said that a handgun was found on the driver, who they said was badly burned after the vehicle exploded.

Visitors to an art exhibit of Auguste Rodin's works in central Paris were confined inside the Grand Palais for an hour after the attack.

Victoria Boucher and daughter Chrystel came in from the suburb of Cergy-Pontoise for a Paris visit and were not afraid to go to the famed avenue.

Chrystel said that "we were better off inside than outside".

But both agreed, as the mother said, "unfortunately we now are used to this".

"The show must go on," the daughter said in English. "They won't win."

Update 5.17pm: The attacker was a 31-year-old man from a Paris suburb who had been flagged for extremism, police officials said.

They identified the man as from the suburb of Argenteuil, and said he had an "S'' file, which means authorities had been aware of potential links to extremism.

The interior minister said the incident shows the threat is still very high in the country and justifies the state of emergency.

Mr Collomb said he will present a bill on Wednesday at a cabinet meeting to extend the state of emergency from July 15, its current expiration date, until November 1.

He said the current situation in France shows a new security law "is needed" and the measure would "maintain a high security level" beyond the end of the state of emergency.

France has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris.

A hooded police officer secure the area on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris, Monday, June 19, 2017.

Update 16:45pm: A driver who rammed a car carrying explosives into a police convoy on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris has died after the "attempted attack" on security forces, France's interior minister said.

Bomb squad officers are at the scene on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists.

Two police officials said that a handgun was found on the driver, who they said was badly burned after the vehicle exploded.

France's anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident.

France is under a state of emergency after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks.

Eric Favereau, a journalist for Liberation newspaper who was driving a scooter behind the gendarmes, said he saw a car blocking the convoy's path, then an implosion in the vehicle.

Mr Favereau wrote that the gendarmes smashed open the windows of the car while it was in flames and dragged out its occupant.

Other gendarmes used fire extinguishers to put out the flames.

Rescue workers cover a body lying on the Champs ElysŽes in Paris, Monday, June 19, 2017. A driver rammed his car, partially seen at left behiong the police van, into a police vehicle in the Champs-Elysees shopping district Monday, prompting a fiery explosion, and was likely killed in the incident, authorities said. France's anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.

Earlier: The attacker on the Champs-Elysees in Paris is "most probably" dead and the bomb squad is on the scene, a French security official said.

France's anti-terrorism prosecutor has opened an investigation into the incident.

Police had earlier warned people to avoid the neighbourhood, one of the French capital's most popular with tourists.

Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the driver, whose car exploded as he tried to ram a police vehicle, is "most probably" dead.

Mr Brandet said bomb squads were still securing the scene. He said the attacker appeared to have acted deliberately.

The public are being advised to avoid the area.

It is unclear why the attacker, who has been arrested, drove into the police.

The French national gendarmerie service said no-one was hurt in the incident.

More as we get it.

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

Related Articles

Man suspected of links to Paris attackers detained in Romania

Notre Dame attacker was ex journalist who showed no signs of radicalisaton, relatives

10 arrested in 2015 Paris terror attacks probe

Policeman killed on Champs-Elysee was deployed to Bataclan during massacre

More in this Section

Girl found dead on UK railway tracks after 'electrocution'

Man killed, seven hurt in Ohio State Fair thrill ride accident

Prominent transgender people are speaking out against Trump’s military ban

One-armed, machete-wielding clown arrested in US


Lifestyle

Online dating through the world of Irish dance

Ask Audrey: The definition of a style icon in Limerick is someone who only owns two tracksuits

Keeping fit is good for the mind as well as the body

The night sky is a long way from Tipperary

More From The Irish Examiner