France picks itself up after Champs-Elysees attack on police

2017-04-21 09:27
French President Francois Hollande chairs a defence council meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Philippe Wojazer, Pool photo via AP)

French President Francois Hollande chairs a defence council meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Philippe Wojazer, Pool photo via AP)

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Paris - France began picking itself up on Friday from another shooting claimed by the Islamic State group, with President Francois Hollande calling together the government's security council.  

Three police officers were shot, one fatally, and their attacker shot dead in an exchange of gunfire on Paris's Champs Elysees, just days ahead of France's presidential election.

Hollande's would-be successors trod carefully before voting this weekend.

One of the key questions was if, and how, the attack might impact voting intentions.

The risk for the main candidates was that misjudging the public mood, making an ill-perceived gesture or comment, could damage their chances.

With polling just two days away, and campaigning banned from Friday at midnight, they would have no time to recover before polls open on Sunday. Candidates cancelled or rescheduled final campaign events ahead of Sunday's first-round vote in the two-stage election.

National police spokesperson Jerome Bonet, speaking on BFM television, said "there were thousands of people" on the iconic boulevard in Paris when the gunman opened fire and that the rapid response of officers who shot and killed him avoided a possible "carnage".

French officials say the two police officers wounded in the Champs-Elysees attack are both out of danger.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Pierre-Henry Brandet said one of the injured officers was more gravely hurt than the other, but both are doing better.

Read more on:    france

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