Four family members detained after Paris attack

( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-06-21 07:27:13

PARIS - French police have taken into custody four members of the family of a radicalized Islamist who was killed when he rammed a car loaded with guns and a gas bottle into a police van on the Champs-Elysees, a judicial source said on Tuesday.

The ex-wife, brother and sister-in-law of Adam Dzaziri were detained on Monday after police questioned them at the family home outside Paris.

The assailant's father was also "taken into custody during the evening", the source said.

Dzaziri was killed in Monday's attack, but there were no other casualties.

Sources close to the probe said he had been on France's security watchlist since 2015 over ties to "the radical Islamist movement".

The suspect's father said that his son "had a registered weapon, he practiced shooting". A source close to the case said the 31-year-old had a firearms permit.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the assault, which occurred just a short distance from where an extremist shot dead a police officer two months earlier.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said the car hit the leading vehicle in a line of police vans as they headed down the Champs-Elysees, near the Grand Palais exhibition hall.

"The security forces have been targeted in France once again," he said.

Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the white Renault Megane caught fire.

Video showed a thick orange smoke pouring from the car after the impact as the vehicle sat in the middle of the prestigious avenue which is lined with shops and cinemas.

Police said they found a Kalashnikov assault rifle, two handguns, ammunition as well as a gas bottle in the car.

The "arms, explosives ... could potentially blow this car up," Collomb said.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into the incident that briefly sparked chaos on the famous avenue.

"People were running every which way," said a 51-year-old bystander who gave his name only as Alexandre. "Some shouted at me to get away."

France remains under a state of emergency imposed after the November 2015 attacks in Paris, when Islamic State extremists slaughtered 130 people in a night of carnage at venues across the city.

The attack came two days before the government is to unveil a new anti-terrorism law, designed to allow the state of emergency to be lifted.

Afp - Ap

 Four family members detained after Paris attack

Police secure the area near a burned car at the scene of the incident on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris on Monday.Charles Platiau / Reuters

(China Daily 06/21/2017 page12)

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