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Paris Police Officer Shooting Sends City Into Lockdown

Police officers were deliberately targeted in the fatal Paris Champs Elysees avenue shooting, but it is too early to say what the motive was, French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet says.

Police sources had said earlier that the shooting could have been an attempt at an armed robbery.

There is speculation it may have been a "terror attack".

Paris police said the gunman killed a police officer and wounded at least one other before being killed himself.

A police source told Reuters there had been two assailants, while a witness saw one man get out of a car at the scene and begin shooting with a machine gun.

A police union Twitter account tweeted the police officer was shot while in a car stopped at a red light by an attacker driving by.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert told The Associated Press the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin Roosevelt subway station.

Police authorities urged the public to avoid the area.

A Reuters reporter saw a helicopter flying low over central Paris, apparently part of a follow-up police operation.

The incident came as French voters prepared go to the polls on Sunday in the most tightly-contested presidential election in living memory.

France has lived under a state of emergency since 2015 and has suffered a spate of Islamist militant attacks that have killed more than 230 people in the past two years.

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

A machine gun, two hand guns and three kilos of TATP explosive were among the weapons found at a flat in the southern city along with jihadist propaganda materials according to the Paris prosecutor.

AAP; Photo: AAP

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