Right before the Presidential election on Sunday, Parisians were shaken by a terrorist attack. On Thursday, April 20, a 39-year-old gunman carried out the horrific attack at the city’s most iconic boulevard, the Champs-Élysées. The gunman killed one policeman and injured a bystander during the assault. However, the police shot him dead as he was trying to escape.

State of emergency declared

The French President Francois Hollande has declared a state of emergency post the terrorist attack. The police blocked the entire main road in Paris, stopping people from going anywhere.

Though the police did not identify the attacker, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (IsiI), which claimed responsibility for the attack, identified the gunman as Abu Yousif.

The act of terrorism was carried out right before the onset of the Presidential voting when the 11 candidates had their last quasi-debate. According to witnesses, the gunman arrived in a car, which he parked in front of the Marks&Spencer store near the police station. The gunman jumped out of the car and began firing randomly at the policemen inside.

According to reports, the first two shots carried out by the gunman were heard from either inside or outside Marks&Spencer. Based on the information from an eyewitness, the gunman jumped from the car and began shooting at will.

He eventually ended up killing one of the police officers.

Consequences of the attack

The French prosecutors have opened a counter-terrorism investigation. A spokesperson from the ministry stated that the police were targeted intentionally. According to a Reuters report, an arrest warrant has been issued for the second suspect, who is believed to have arrived from Belgium.

The French President declared an emergency meeting after the arrest of the two suspected men in Marseille. These men were reportedly in the final planning stages of several probable terrorist attacks. The details of the alleged attacks are not known.

“A national tribute will be paid to this policeman who was killed in such a cowardly way,” said President Hollande.

People have been advised to stay vigilant. They have been asked to remain in touch with their family members, updating them about their security and safety. The U.S. President expressed solidarity with France and offered his condolences.

“Our condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Paris. It looks like another terrorist attack. What can you say? It never ends,” expressed President Trump.

How the attack may affect the Presidential election

When the terrorist attack in Paris occurred the 11 candidates fighting it out for the Presidential election were engaged in the final round of debate. The Friday campaign for the Presidential election has been canceled following the terrorist attack. The Islamic State has not divulged any other details barring the attacker’s identity.