A police officer was shot dead and another seriously wounded by two Kalashnikov-wielding gunmen on the Champs Elysees in central Paris tonight.
French police said that the incident was probably a ‘terrorist act’ and the world famous avenue was on lockdown by 9pm.
Heavily armed officers had flooded the area and a third individual – believed to be the killer – was also hurt and ‘neutralised’, according to police sources.
Reports suggest ‘at least’ two people were involved in the attack which took place as presidential candidates took part in a TV debate nearby.
The BFM TV news channel reported that ‘two offers were hit and one has been killed’.
A witness identified only as Ines told BFM that she heard a shooting, saw a man’s body on the ground and the area was quickly evacuated by police.
The attack came three days before the first round of balloting in France’s tense presidential election.
The shooting comes just hours after one of the busiest roads in Paris was closed off by police as officers dealt with a ‘suspicious package’.
Reports suggested that items were discovered by officers as Rue de Rivoli remained shut.
Stunned witnesses described seeing a large police presence on the two-mile-long road.
It is believed that the Paris Metro service is not stopping there as officers try and deal with the incident.
France is currently under a state of emergency following a spate of Islamist terror attacks.