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Paris police shoot two people dead in night of unrest

Two people have been shot dead by police in Paris, hours after President Emmanuel Macron’s re-election.

It is unclear if the incident in the centre of the French capital was linked to the Presidential election, but it came as riot police clashed with demonstrators unhappy with the result nearby.  

Officers opened fire on a car that was hurtling towards them, killing two people inside on Paris’ oldest bridge, the Pont Neuf, a police source said.

The vehicle had refused to stop at a police checkpoint shortly after midnight.

A third person in the car was also injured, with pictures showing a large police presence in the heart of the capital, where white sheets covered the bodies and a Volkswagen sedan could be seen across traffic lanes.

An Egyptian tourist, who gave his name as El Sammak, said he was near the incident on the terrace of the White Horse Hotel overlooking the Seine when he heard the shooting.

‘I heard four bullets (being fired)’ he said.

WARNING: Upsetting content

A view of Pont Neuf bridge as police take security measures after police opened fire on a car that attempted to hit officers, killing two of its occupants, in Paris, France on April 25, 2022.
Police opened fire on a car that attempted to hit officers (Picture: Getty Images)
Police investigate the site of a shooting where two people were shot by police in Paris on April 25, 2022.
Two people were killed and a third was injured in the car (Picture: AFP)
Police investigate the site of a shooting where two people (L and R) were shot by police in Paris on April 25, 2022.
Two bodies were visible on the scene shortly after midnight (Picture: AFP)
A French police forensic officer inspects the scene of a shooting on the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris, France, April 25, 2022.
Police covered the body in a white sheet (Picture: Reuters)

‘When I looked, I saw a man running 10 or 15 metres. Then he collapsed. Apparently, he was not the driver but a passenger.’

An investigation has been launched for ‘attempted voluntary manslaughter on persons in charge of public authority’, with the Paris prosecutor arriving at around 1.30am.

France’s police oversight body, the General Inspectorate of the National Police, is also expected to look in to the incident.

Meanwhile, around just one mile away, President Macron was celebrating his victory over far-right rival Marine Le Pen, with a crowd of supporters on the Champ de Mars park.

His win closed out a tense contest that saw the French far right come the closest it ever has to winning the presidency.

Young demonstrators hold smoke flares at Republic Square after the elections.
Young demonstrators held smoke flares at Republic Square after the elections (Picture: Shutterstock)
Parisians gather at Place de la Republique to protest against the re-election of Emmanuel Macron as president in Paris, France on April 24, 2022.
Parisians gathered at Place de la Republique to protest against the re-election of Emmanuel Macron (Picture: Getty Images)
Policemen run towards protesters participating in a demonstration after the announcement of French presidential election results at Place de la Republique in Parisin Paris, France, 24 April 2022.
Policemen run towards demonstrators participating in the Place de la Republique demonstration (Picture: EPA)
Anarchist activists gather inside Les Halles shopping mall in Paris, France, 24 April 2022.
Activists also gathered inside Les Halles shopping mall (Picture: EPA)

But elsewhere, many were unhappy with the victory of Mr Macron, decried as a ‘President of the rich’ by his critics.

Earlier, a knifeman in Nice had ‘stabbed a priest 20 times and said he wanted to kill the President’.

In Paris last night, riot police charged and sprayed teargas on demonstrators in central Paris protesting social media footage showed.

Police sought to break up a crowd of mostly young people who had gathered in the central neighborhood of Chatelet to protest.

Macron won a second five-year term with relative ease, but the abstention rate was expected to settle at its highest since 1969, with a substantial chunk of voters unwilling to vote for either Mr Macron or Ms Le Pen.

Between the first round of voting and Sunday’s runoff, students protested outside the Sorbonne in Paris and other universities, expressing their disillusionment with the choice on offer.

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