[CNN] – A deadly attack on a police bus in the heart of Paris cast the shadow of terror over the final days of the French presidential election campaign.
One police officer died after a gunman wielding a machine gun leapt out of a car and opened fire on the Champs-Elysees, Paris’s most famous boulevard, as candidates were engaging in their final TV debate.
The attack dramatically changed the course of the campaign’s final hours: the three main candidates canceled campaign events and instead made televised statements in which they competed to talk tough on security and vowed a crackdown on ISIS.
The far-right candidate, Marine le Pen, demanded the closure of all Islamist mosques. The Prime Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, accused her of trying to capitalize on the attack.
ISIS swiftly claimed the attack was carried out by one of its “fighters”. The assailant — a French national with a long criminal record — was shot dead as he tried to make his escape. French media reported that he was recently the subject of a counterterrorism investigation.
Election in turmoil
Fillon, Le Pen and independent centrist Emmanuel Macron canceled planned campaign events after the shooting. Under French election rules, Friday was due to be the final day of campaigning before Sunday’s first round of voting.