Friday 15 November 2019

Paris policewoman targeted in 'deliberate' attack by driver outside French presidential palace, suspects on the run

Adam Withnall

A female police officer in Paris has been injured in what officials have described as a deliberate new attack outside the presidential residence.

According to the Le Parisien newspaper, four suspects fled from a vehicle after it drove straight into a policewoman outside the Elysee Palace, where President Francois Hollande was present at the time.

BFM TV reported that the car had been going the wrong way around a one-way system when the 37-year-old officer approached it and was knocked down. It said two people had been arrested by police on bikes, and that two others were still on the run.

The officer was taken to hospital and is being treated for wrist, back and knee injuries.

Stephanie Weber-Boyer, a spokesperson for the French police union Alliance, told Europe 1: "[The officer] says that the driver looked at her in the eye and did not pull on the brakes, and that he voluntarily hit her. Three witnesses nearby say the same thing."

Police officials are yet to comment following the incident on Wednesday night, while reports said it was not clear whether the incident was connected to the attacks that killed 17 across France last week.

The incident nonetheless comes with Paris on high security alert following the publication of a new edition of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, whose offices were targeted in the most deadly of last week's attacks.

President Hollande said that the magazine had been "reborn" following an unprecedented print run of three million - later extended to five million - copies.

"Charlie Hebdo is alive and will live on," he said yesterday. "You can murder men and women but you can never kill their ideas."


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