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Four family members of Champs-Elysées car-rammer held

French police officers engage with a suspect on the Champs Elysees - image from social media
French police officers engage with a suspect on the Champs Elysees - image from social media Eugenio Morcillo via Reuters

French police have detained four members of the family of Monday's Champs-Elysées attacker, including his wife and father. Adam Dzaziri, 31, who died when he rammed his weapons-laden vehicle into a police van, had been on a jihadist watchlist since 2015, they say.

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Dzaziri's ex-wife, brother and sister-in-law were detained late on Monday afternoon after police questioned them at the family home outside Paris.

His father was also taken into custody during the evening, a police source said.

A stash of weapons was found at the family's home, investigators said.

Dzaziri was killed in Monday's attack but there were no other casualties.

On terror watchlist

Sources close to the probe said he had been on France's security watchlist since 2015 over ties to "the radical Islamist movement".

Dzaziri, who had been raised in the hardline Salafi Islamic ideology, did not have a criminal record.

The attack on Paris's famous Champs-Elysées avenue occurred just a short distance from where a jihadist shot dead police officer Xavuer Jugélé two months ago.

Police sources said that they found a Kalashnikov assault rifle, two handguns, ammunition as well as a gas bottle in the car.

Home searched

The suspect's father said that his son "had a registered weapon, he practiced shooting".

Police searched the residence the suspect shared with his family in a town about 40 minutes' drive from central Paris.

The attack "shows once again that the threat of an attack remains extremely high in France", Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said.

The French government is to unveil a new anti-terrorism law on Wednesday.

France has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 Paris attacks.

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