France police arrest suspect in auto attack case

Rex Tillerson

Six French soldiers have reportedly been injured after a vehicle rammed into them in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret.

He told news channel BFMTV that the auto "accelerated very fast when [the soldiers] were coming out" of the barracks.

The Paris Police Authority said a police operation is under way in the area and they are searching for the vehicle. Of the six hit by the vehicle, two were reported to be in serious condition.

It targeted soldiers from the Sentinelle security force created after extremist attacks in 2015.

A second legal source added: "The arrested individual, born in 1980, is suspected to be the culprit" of the assault in the Levallois-Perret area of Paris at around 8:00 am (0600 GMT).

The security forces in France have also become targets of Islamist inspired acts of violence.

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It's an odious act of aggression, Balkany told the BFM television. "It all happened very quickly".

Three of the soldiers suffered light injuries while three were more seriously injured, but their lives are not in danger, according to the Defense Ministry.

"The vehicle did not stop", Balkany said.

It was driven slowly until it came within 5m of the patrol before accelerating towards them, he said.

Some 300 police tracked down the vehicle sought in connection with the attack, which left six people injured.

The anti-terrorism unit of the Paris prosecutors' office has launched a probe into the car-ramming, AFP reported, citing a statement from Paris prosecutors.

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Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said the attack is further evidence the Sentinel force "was more necessary than ever".

"I heard a loud noise, the sound of scraping metal", a nearby resident, Jean-Claude Veillant, told BBC.

The driver's motive was unclear, but officials said he deliberately aimed at the soldiers, and counterterrorism authorities opened an investigation.

In June, a man identifying himself as a "soldier of the Caliphate" attacked a policeman on patrol outside Notre-Dame cathedral.

In March, a 39-year-old man was shot dead at the southern terminal at Orly airport after taking a soldier hostage.

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