April 21 - — French presidential candidates on Friday formally announced the halt of their campaigns after the fatal shooting of a Paris cops officer, for which the Islamic State took credit.With the 1st round of voting agreed to be scheduled for Sunday, center-right candidate Francois Fillon, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen and leftist candidate Emmanuel Macron formally announced they suspended their campaigns. In opinion polls, the three direct the list of presidential candidates in popularity. The- three took part in a televised debate Thursday night when the shooting on Paris’ Champs-Elysees occurred.A single gunman with an automatic rifle opened fire on a cops bus on Paris’ most prominent street, and was shot by the return fire of security forces as he attempted to escape. Two other cops officers were injured in the incident, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.”On the face of it, the officers were deliberately targeted,” Brandet said.The busy street was evacuated, with at least one restaurant shielding customers in its basement.Police after arrested (taken in to custody) three family members of the alleged shooter, who they did not identify; prosecutor Francois Molins after asserted the shooter’s identity was “known and has-been verified.” The- Islamic State took responsibility for the shooting and identified the attacker as Abu-Yusef al-Baljiki in a acknowledgment on its video channel.More than 50,000 cops officers were on hand for security in Paris as the election nears, and French President Francois Hollande convened a meeting of the national defense council on Friday. Hollande is not running for re-election.At the debate, the three leading candidates expressed support of the police, Fillon saying there is “no room for pursuing an election crusade today or tomorrow because, 1st of all, we have to demonstrate our solidarity with police.”Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Melanchon asserted in that panic should not “interrupt democracy,” and later, Le Pen called on Hollande to restore border controls and immediately expel or hold anyone in France suspected of basic Islamist sentiment.
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