Update 6.47pm: The driver who rammed a vehicle 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.
- Last month, a man attacked an officer with a hammer at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, proclaiming, "This is for Syria", French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said.
Chrystel said that "we were better off inside than outside".
Police sources told French media the attacker was a 31-year-old French national from the Paris suburb of Argenteuil whose name was on a terror watchlist because of his known links with suspected extremists. France's anti-terrorism prosecutor opened an investigation.
The auto struck the front of the van as it overtook a convoy of police vehicles, a police spokeswoman said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal details of the incident, the second this year on the city's most famous avenue, which is popular with tourists from around the world.
Visiting the scene of the attack, Mr Collomb said: "Again the forces of law and order in France were targeted, this time with an attack on the Champs Elysee against a police patrol". Police say the suspect was armed, and had been knocked out and gravely injured in an encounter with police.
Mr Brandet said bomb squads were still securing the scene.
The Champs-Elysees avenue has been blocked after the intervention of police, Xinhua news agency reported. Bomb squads are combing the area and the nearest subway station is closed to the public.
France is now in a state of emergency after being the subject of a number of terror attacks in recent years.
Mr Favereau wrote that the gendarmes smashed open the windows of the vehicle while it was in flames and dragged out its occupant. He said some police then pulled the man on to the ground while others used fire extinguishers to put out the blaze.