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Update 2 | Police arrest suspect in Paris car attack on soldiers

Six French soldiers have been injured, three seriously, after a vehicle plunged through them in Paris • Police suspect terrorism

9 August 2017, 10:38am
Last updated on 9 August 2017, 4:47pm
A major police operation is underway
A major police operation is underway
Police have arrested the main suspect behind an attack on soldiers in a suburb of the capital, Paris, the French prime minister confimed on Wednesday.

A Reuters witness at the scene saw a BMW car, the model used in the attack, with several bullet holes in it. Ambulances surrounded the vehicle.

Six members of the 35th infantry regiment were injured, including three “more seriously”, the defence ministry said.

The incident occurred at about 8am during the changeover of soldiers stationed at Place de Verdun, not far from the town hall in Levallois-Perre, a northwestern commune in the French capital.

The driver sped off after ploughing into soldiers patrolling an upmarket Paris suburb.

The vehicle, a BMW, was parked in an alley before it accelerated into the soldiers as they left their barracks, Patrick Balkany, mayor of Levallois-Perret, said.

In an interview with BMF TV, Balkany said that "without any doubt, it was a deliberate act."

He added that while all six soldiers were hospitalised, non had life-threatening injuries.

The man, aged in his late 30s, was intercepted on a motorway north of the French capital in the vehicle used to drive into the soldiers, AFP reported quoting sources.

The Paris prosecutors' office said its anti-terrorism unit has launched a probe into "attempted killings... in relation to a terrorist undertaking".

Defence Minister Florence Parly condemned the car ramming as a "cowardly act", saying it did "nothing to dent soldiers' determination to work for the security of the French people".

"Security forces are actively seeking the perpetrator who is on the run. The ongoing probe will determine his motives and the circumstances in which he acted," Parly said.

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

On 13 November, 130 people were killed in a night of carnage in Paris, and more than 100 more have been killed in terrorist attacks since.

In the past French security forces have been regularly targeted in similar attacks. In February a man attacked four soldiers with a machete, while in April another fighter shot and killed a policeman while on duty at the Champs Elysees.