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Police officer killed, 2 seriously injured in Paris Champs Elysees attack

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PARIS — A French police officer has been shot dead and two were seriously injured in an attack in central Paris, the French Interior Ministry has said.

Brandet said apart from the policeman killed on the spot by the attacker, two police officers had been seriously wounded. The gunman was also shot dead.

But he said a second policeman had not died of his wounds, as had been earlier reported.

Paris police spokeswoman Johanna Primevert said the attacker targeted police guarding the area near the Franklin D Roosevelt metro stop on the Champs Elysees on Thursday night (local time) at the centre of the avenue, which is popular with tourists.

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The shooting took place on the central boulevard of Champs Elysees. The suspected attacker was also killed in the shootout, according to police.

President Francois Hollande said the shooting was of “terrorist nature” as Islamic State claimed responsibility.

Addressing the nation following a crisis meeting at the presidential palace, French President Francois Hollande said that all leads indicate that the attack was of a “terrorist nature.”

French prosecutors have opened a terrorism investigation into the attack on the officers.

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Putin orders withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria

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MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria on Monday morning, saying that after a two year military campaign, Moscow and Damascus had achieved their mission of destroying Islamic State.

Putin made the announcement during a surprise visit to Russia’s Hmeymim air base in Syria’s Latakia Province where he held talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and addressed Russian military servicemen.

“I order the defense minister and chief of the general staff to start the withdrawal of Russian troops to the site of their permanent deployment,” Putin stated, speaking in front of Russian military personnel at Khmeimim.

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Mr Putin said that in the space of two years the Russian and Syrian militaries have “defeated the most battle-hardened grouping of international terrorists,” adding that he had made the decision that a significant number of the Russian military contingent in Syria should return to Russia.

Russia first launched air strikes in Syria in September 2015 in its biggest Middle East intervention in decades, turning the tide of the conflict in Assad’s favor while dramatically increasing Moscow’s own influence in the Middle East.

After a short visit to Syria, the Russian president headed for Cairo, where he is scheduled to hold talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Reuters/RT

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