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One police officer killed, another wounded in Paris shooting

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Police seal off the Champs Elysees avenue

There are conflicting reports about how many people were involved in the attack, however a police spokesman said there were two people, while other reports suggested the gunman was armed with a Kalashnikov.

The area has been closed and authorities are telling people to avoid the area. One of the officers has reportedly died on the scene with the other sustaining serious injuries.

He was then shot dead and an anti-terror investigation is under way into the attack in the heart of the French capital.

Nationalist Le Pen, whom Macron is most likely to face in the May 7 runoff, was interviewed before news of the shooting broke and later posted on Twitter that she feels "shock and solidarity with our police forces".

The Champs-Elysees, a top tourist attraction in Paris, is lined with restaurants, cafes, exclusive designer boutiques and tourist shops.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert says unidentified gunman appeared to be alone when he allegedly opened fire on a police vehicle.

Emergency vehicles blocked the wide avenue that cuts across central Paris between the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Gardens, normally packed with cars and tourists. "Some were crying. There were tens, maybe even hundreds of them".

Earlier this week, two men were arrested in Marseille whom police said had been planning an attack ahead of the election.

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One officer was killed and another was wounded.

UPDATE (4:09 p.m.): President Trump offered his condolences for the people of France during a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

The attack came three days before the first round of France's tense presidential election. Although CNN reports that a third person was also struck in the gunfire, it's not yet clear whether this person was a bystander or the attacking gunman.

Thursday night's attacker got out of a auto that pulled up next to a police van on the Champs Elysees and opened fired on officers inside and standing by the vehicle, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told reporters at a police barrier on the avenue.

The incident recalled two recent attacks on soldiers providing security at prominent locations around Paris, one at the Louvre museum in February and one at Orly airport last month.

Another witness identified only as Ines told French television station BFM that she heard a shooting, saw a man's body on the ground and the area was quickly evacuated by police.

None of the candidates immediately commented.

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