Updated. Paris attack: police hunt driver who ploughed into soldiers on patrol

Kim Willshire — The Guardian Aug 9, 2017

French police are searching for a driver who plowed into soldiers patrolling an upmarket Paris suburb on Wednesday morning.

The car sped off after hitting six members of Opération Sentinelle, part of France’s ongoing state of emergency introduced after the November 2015 terrorist attacks.

The officers were standing by their vehicle at about 8 am at Place de Verdun not far from the town hall in Levallois-Perret.

Six military personnel were hurt – two of them seriously. The two seriously injured soldiers were taken to the Percy military hospital at Clamart, near the French capital. None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening.

Patrick Balkany, the mayor of Levallois-Perret, told BFMTV that a BMW parked nearby appeared to have been waiting for the soldiers to leave their barracks.

He described the attack as a “deliberate aggression”.

“It’s without doubt a deliberate act … This vehicle was waiting for them,” Balkany said. “The BMW accelerated very quickly the moment they came out. This happened in the middle of the town. It happened very quickly.”

“Levallois is a calm place … this is an odious aggression against our military that nobody expected.”

Roger Karoutchi, a local senator, said: “We have to be careful, but it wasn’t a classic road accident. As for the motives, we will have to wait until the person or people concerned are arrested.”

There are 10,000 soldiers patrolling France as part of Opération Sentinelle, and 4,700 police and gendarmes.

Although French authorities remained cautious as to the motives of the driver, the incident appears to be the latest assault on France’s security forces.

In April a police officer was killed in a shooting on the Champs-Elysées.

In June, an Islamic State supporter drove a car loaded with gas bottles into a military vehicle on the same road. The attacker died when the car caught fire. No soldiers were injured.


Man shot by police after BMW ‘deliberately rams into soldiers injuring six’ in suspected Paris terror attack

Peter Allen, Sophie Evans and Chris Kitching — The Daily Mirror Aug 9, 2017

The man was “seriously wounded” near the northern port town of Boulogne-sur-Mer and was allegedly driving the BMW used in the attack in the French capital just hours earlier.


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