Yet another attack in French capital left six soldiers injured – three seriously – after a car rammed at them outside their barracks in one of city’s northern suburbs.
The attack took place around 08:15 local time near the barracks on the Place de Verdun in Levallois-Perret – a suburb of Paris.
French Interior Minister confirmed that the attack was a deliberate act and was carried out by a “man on his own”.
According to witness reports, the attacker waited in his BMW car outside the barracks and then drove slowly until he came within 5m from the patrol.
“It was a BMW which accelerated very quickly the moment they came out,” said a local mayor.
One of the witnesses of the attack reported that: “I heard a loud noise, the sound of scraping metal. Shortly after, I saw one of the badly wounded lying in front of the Vigipirate [army patrol] vehicle and another one behind it receiving treatment,” he said.
Senior city official said the was “without a doubt a deliberate act”, while the Parisian prosecutor linked the attack with terrorism.
A dramatic car chase ensued along the motorway in the north of the country and the attacker was ultimately arrested by the police.
French Prime Minister Edouard Phillipe has confirmed that the man arrested on the motorway is the suspect wanted for the attack in a Parisian suburb.
According to local media reports, the attacker was arrested on the A16 motorway at the town of Marquise near the port of Boulogne and one of the policemen was injured during the arrest operation.
The suspect is reported to be in his 30’s, but there is no additional information about his identity, or possible links with terrorist groups.
Three of the soldiers have been seriously wounded in the attack, while the other have lighter injuries, said the French Ministry of Defense.
“I will be at the bedside of the soldiers that have been wounded, at the Defence Minister’s side, in support of the ‘Operation Sentinelle’ forces,” the French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said.
At the same time, Paris prosecutor’s counter-terrorism department has opened an investigation of the incident.
France has been in the state of emergency since November 2015, when 130 people were killed in a series of terrorist attacks across Paris.
Photo Credit: Reuters