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3Novices:Police targeted in Paris attack

PARIS // A car loaded with gas cylinders crashed into a police van on the Champs-Elysees boulevard in Paris on Monday, killing the driver.

Police said a Kalashnikov rifle, handguns and gas bottles were found in the white Renault Megane.

Video showed orange smoke pouring from the car after the impact as the vehicle sat in the middle of the avenue, which is lined with shops and cinemas.

"Security forces have been targeted in France once again," interior minister Gerard Collomb said. He called the incident an "attempted attack".

The weapons and explosives found in the vehicle "could potentially blow this car up", he said.

"People were running every which way," said a 51-year-old bystander, Alexandre. "Some shouted at me to get away."

Anti-terrorism prosecutors have opened an investigation.

Police closed two of the Metro stations on the Champs-Elysees, but two hours after the attack tourists were back taking selfies of the Arc de Triomphe and visiting shops.

France remains under a state of emergency imposed after the November 2015 attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people.

* Agence France-Presse
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