France has confirmed the deaths of at least three people, including a police officer, as a gun battle broke out in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis early on Friday.
Gunfire broke out between the attackers and police in a shopping district in the northern Paris suburb, where people gathered to celebrate Bastille Day, the country’s national holiday.
“Three people, police officers and an unidentified person were killed, a police spokesman said,” AFP news agency quoted a police official as saying.
“It is a tragic event.”
Police were trying to capture the attackers, the spokesman added.
A video released by the local prosecutor showed a police car in the middle of a street as it ran into flames.
In the footage, a gunman can be seen pointing his weapon at police, before firing three shots.
The footage was filmed on a mobile phone.
A man is seen lying on the ground, then being helped up by others.
“I saw them in the video,” one witness told AFP news organisation.
“There was blood everywhere.
I saw the police officer with his bullet in his arm.”
Two people were killed in the shootings, the prosecutor said.
Police have said the police were “targeted” in the attack, and a second police officer was also wounded.
The attack comes as France grapples with the terror threat from the Islamic State group (IS) and the resurgence of violence in the French capital, with hundreds of people killed by attacks since January.
Paris is currently on high alert, with police carrying out extra security measures ahead of Bastille day.
President Emmanuel Macron said the attacks would not be tolerated and the country must be vigilant against terror.
He said the country had to be prepared for any future attacks.
“Terrorism cannot be tolerated.
It must not be allowed to succeed,” Macron said.
He called for the public to be aware of security measures and to be vigilant in the streets.
France has seen a spike in violence in recent months, with more than 500 people killed in just a few months.
More: The French President also called on people to report any suspicious activity to police and urged them to stay vigilant.
He also called for calm, saying “we will be there for each other, our people”.
French President Emmanuel Trudeau has vowed to be “comprehensive” and “resolute” in tackling the threat from IS.
He is expected to attend the French national funeral for police officer Serge Dumas.
“His leadership will be sorely missed.” “
The French president is due to meet the countrys police commissioner on Monday.”
His leadership will be sorely missed.”
The French president is due to meet the countrys police commissioner on Monday.