French police were hunting for a driver who slammed his car into a group of soldiers in a Paris suburb, injuring six. The authorities launched a terror probe into the “attempted killings.”
The vehicle, a dark BMW car, hit the soldiers at Place de Verdun in Levallois-Perret at the northwestern edge of Paris on Wednesday at about 8:00 a.m. local time (0600 UTC). Police say the driver is on the run.
The mayor of Levallois-Perret, Patrick Balkany, told French television network BFMTV that the act was “odious” and “without a doubt deliberate.” He also said that the car appeared to have waited in a nearby alleyway until the soldiers emerged from their barracks to start their patrol.
“The vehicle did not stop. It hurtled at them … it accelerated rapidly,” he told broadcaster BFM TV.
The attacker apparently targeted members of the Sentinelle security force, which was created after Islamist attacks in 2015. Six soldiers were injured in the hit-and-run, three of them seriously. French defense ministry said that their lives were not in danger.
The prosecutors launched a probe into “attempted killings… in relation to a terrorist undertaking.”
The incident comes four days after a teenager with psychiatric problems tried to attack security forces guarding the Eiffel Tower, shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest). Several other extremists also attacked security forces in Paris earlier this year.
ng/sms (AP, AFP, Reuters)