A driver deliberately rammed his car into a police van as it drove down Paris’ Champs Elysees avenue and was killed, police said, adding that no officers or bystanders were injured and the situation was under control.
The Paris prosecutor’s counter-terrorism unit said it had opened an investigation into the incident, which occurred only a short walk away from the Elysees presidential palace and the US embassy.
The car hit the front of the police van as it was overtaking it and caught fire, a police spokeswoman told reporters.
Police sources added the attacker was carrying a Kalashnikov, handguns and gas bottles in the car.
France has been on high security alert following a series of militant Islamist attacks in recent years, including the shooting of a policeman in an Islamic State-claimed attack on a police bus on the Champs Elysees in April.