Sunday 24 September 2017

Man arrested by police hunting driver who ploughed BMW into six French soldiers in 'deliberate act'

Police secure the scene where French soliders were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, August 9, 2017 (Reuters)
Police secure the scene where French soliders were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, August 9, 2017 (Reuters)
A police investigator and an armed soldier work near the scene where French soliders were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, August 9, 2017 (Reuters)
A police investigator and an armed soldier work near the scene where French soliders were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, August 9, 201 (Reuters)

Angela Charlton

POLICE investigating an incident in which a BMW was rammed into a group of soldiers in a Paris suburb have arrested a man north of Paris.

Six soldiers were injured an apparent ambush before the vehicle sped away, officials said

The driver's motive is unclear, but officials said he deliberately aimed at the soldiers.

Shortly after 1am police said a man had been arrested north of the French capital and police were investigating a link between him and the attack.

A vehicle was stopped on the A16 and a man was arrested.

He was also wounded in an apparent shoot-out according to reports.

Today's is the latest of several attacks targeting security forces guarding France over the past year.

Four of the soldiers suffered slight injuries while two were taken to the Percy military hospital south of Paris, police officials said.

They were from the 35th infantry regiment and served in Operation Sentinelle, created to guard prominent French sites after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks in 2015, according to the Interior Ministry.

Witnesses described seeing a BMW with one person inside waiting in a cul-de-sac near a building used for Sentinelle soldiers, according to two police officials.

One official said the attacker hit just as a group of soldiers emerged from the building to board vehicles for a new shift.

Authorities are checking video surveillance of the area, near the city hall of Levallois, north west of Paris,.

Levallois Mayor Patrick Balkany called it an "odious attack" and said it was "without a doubt deliberate".

"A BMW pre-positioned itself in the alley (where the barracks is located) and barrelled into them," he said on BFM television.

He said the car "accelerated very quickly when they left" the building.

A security perimeter was installed around the scene, and the Paris police chief and regional prosecutor are expected at the site.

French President Emmanuel Macron is holding a previously scheduled top-level security meeting.

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