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Four relatives of Champs-Elysees police attacker detained

Four relatives of a man who died after ramming his car into a Paris police convoy have been detained by French police.

It comes as authorities struggled to explain how the Champs-Elysees attacker was able to keep his gun permit despite being monitored for links to extremism.

The Paris prosecutor's office said the four suspects were detained overnight in the anti-terrorism investigation into Monday's attack.

The incident on one of the French capital's busiest shopping and tourist districts rattled the city anew after multiple attacks targeting security forces.

Two police officials identified the attacker as 31-year-old Adam Djaziri, from the Paris suburb of Argenteuil, and said he had been on the police radar for ties to radicalism.

The prime minister said that the man's gun permit was initially issued before he was flagged to authorities.

Asked on BFM television why the attacker's permit was not rescinded, Edouard Philippe said that "if you take away a permit from someone who is the subject of surveillance or being monitored, he will quickly understand why it has been taken away. It's a difficult decision".

Mr Philippe dismissed appeals by gun clubs to have access to such surveillance information, saying that would hinder intelligence efforts that rely on secrecy to determine whether someone is plotting a crime.

Djaziri set off a fiery blast when he drove his car packed with arms and explosives into police, authorities said.

Gendarmes jumped out of the vehicle, ran to the car, smashed its windows and pulled out the driver in an apparent attempt to save him, according to witness accounts.

No-one else was injured and the Champs-Elysees reopened overnight after being closed for hours for security measures.

The interior minister said the attack shows the threat level remains high and justifies an extension of a state of emergency in place since 2015.

The government will discuss extending the measure through until November 1 at a cabinet meeting.



From Belfast Telegraph