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Car explodes after hitting police van on Paris's Champs-Elysees, driver likely dead

A car exploded and burst into flames after it crashed into a police van on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on Monday, police and investigators said, adding that the driver was armed. The driver of the car is dead, France's interior minister said.

Gerard Collomb said the incident had been "an attempted attack." Police sources earlier said that a Kalashnikov rifle, handguns and gas bottles were found in the Renault Megane.

 Car explodes after hitting police van on Pariss Champs-Elysees, driver likely dead

Police forces secure the area on the Champs Elysées Avenue in Paris on Monday. AP

A source close to the investigation said the driver was "seriously injured". A French security official says that the attacker on Champs-Elysees avenue is probably dead and the bomb squad is on the scene.

Police said earlier that the driver was "on the ground... unconscious."

Police and judicial sources said they suspect the incident was a deliberate act.

The incident came just two months after a policeman was shot and killed on the world-renowned avenue, three days before the first round of France's presidential election.

A note praising the Islamic State group was found next to the body of the gunman, Karim Cheurfi, in that incident.

Police later found other weapons in Cheurfi's car including a shotgun and knives.

Interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet says the driver whose car exploded as he tried to ram a police vehicle is "most probably" dead. Brandet said the attacker appeared to have acted deliberately.

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Updated Date: Jun 19, 2017 21:15:39 IST

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