Sunday, July 26, 2015

Paris police shoot at car which attempted to crash Tour de France barricade on the Champs Elysées 

Police in central Paris opened fire on a driver who tried to ram through a barricade as they stood guard ahead of the final stage of the Tour de France Sunday morning.

The car managed to evade police fire at Place de la Concorde at about 8am, with the two people inside reportedly being unharmed by the gunfire, according to Luc Poignant, a spokesman for the SGP police union.

Security forces are on high alert, as extra armed police soon flooded into the area looking for the car and its occupants but police said it doesn't appear to be a terrorist attack. 

Paris has been on maximum security alert since the shootings in Paris in January at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo's offices. 

Police are now investigating CCTV footage to identify the driver and the passenger inside the Renault Twingo.

"This is a minor incident. It wasn't aimed at the Tour de France, it's not terrorism, it's just a simple refusal to comply, as there are many every day," a police official told Reuters.

Hundreds of thousands traditionally gather in the Place de la Concorde and the Champs Elysees for the final stage of the Tour de France, which will happen later today.

The stage itself does not leave its start point, the town of Sèvres, until 4.15pm local time, with the riders not due to arrive in central Paris until nearly 6pm. 

Britain’s Chris Froome is all but guaranteed victory, with a lead of more than a minute over his closest rival, Nairo Quintana of Colombia.

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