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Suspect Arrested After Car Rams Paris Counterterror Troops

  • RFE/RL

Police gather around a damaged BMW car with a broken windscreen, after the police arrested a suspect on the A16 motorway, near Marquise, on August 9.

French police have shot and arrested a suspect following a highway chase after a car rammed into soldiers outside a barracks in a Paris suburb, injuring six.

The suspected terror attack on August 9 is the latest in a string of assaults that have hit France since January 2015, claiming more than 230 lives.

The soldiers were hit by a BMW that drove down a quiet street in the wealthy western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret at around 8 a.m.

Police later chased the vehicle on a highway and shot and wounded the suspect, a man aged in his late 30s who was also arrested, multiple media outlets reported, citing sources involved in the operation speaking on condition of anonymity.

Speaking to lawmakers, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed that the suspect was apprehended on a highway in northern France, and was driving the car used in the attack. He gave no other details.

Earlier, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb described the act as "deliberate" and carried out by a "man on his own."

He spoke after visiting three of the injured soldiers along with Defense Minister Florence Parly. All six were taken to hospital, but none had life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

They were part of the 7,000-strong counterterrorism Sentinelle force set up in January 2015, which sees armed, uniformed soldiers patrol the streets and guard high-risk areas such as tourist sites and religious buildings.

France has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when attackers killed 130 people in Paris.

The country has seen a series of attacks on security forces who have been regularly targeted, especially at key tourist sites.

On August 5, an 18-year-old with a history of mental problems was arrested at the Eiffel Tower after brandishing a knife and shouting "Allahu akbar" (God is greatest).

He told investigators he wanted to kill a soldier, reports said.

In February, a man armed with a machete attacked four soldiers on patrol at Paris's Louvre Museum, while in April another man shot and killed a police officer on the Champs Elysees.

In June, an Algerian doctorate student who had reportedly pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group attacked a policeman with a hammer outside Notre Dame cathedral.

With reporting by AFP, Reuters, AP, and dpa
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