Latest: French police search building in Paris following a car attack that injured six soldiers

Latest: French police search building in Paris following a car attack that injured six soldiers

Six people have been injured after a vehicle slammed into soldiers guarding a Paris suburb, French police said.

    What we know so far:

  • Six soldiers injured, three seriously, after car drives into them in Paris;
  • Authorities are hunting for the driver who fled the scene;
  • The mayor of Levallois said it was a deliberate act targeting security forces;

  • Witnesses claim driver of BMW was 'waiting in a cul de sac' before incident
  • Soldiers were part of anti-terrorism operation deployed after 2015 attacks;
  • Counter-terrorism authorities have opened an investigation.
  • French police have arrested a man north of Paris on the A16 highway.
  • Police are searching a building in a suburb west of Paris.
  • The building is believed to be linked to the chief suspect.

Update - 5.32pm: French police are searching a building in a suburb west of Paris believed to be linked to the chief suspect in a car attack that injured six soldiers.

Two officials say the search under way in Sartrouville is part of the investigation into Wednesday morning's attack in nearby Levallois.

The officials say information about the suspect's identity is being verified, and it is unclear whether the suspect lived in the building.

Heavily armed police in masks could be seen entering and leaving the building.

Police shot and wounded the suspect on a major road in northern France after he fled the scene of the attack on the soldiers.

Update - 1.18pm: French officials say police have arrested a man on a road north of Paris in the search for a driver who rammed his car into soldiers.

They said the suspect has been wounded in a gunfight.

The officials said it is too early to say for certain that the man was the driver who rammed a car into soldiers in the Paris suburb of Levallois early on Wednesday morning.

Six soldiers were injured in the attack.

One of the officials said the arrest was violent, and police opened fire on the suspect.

Another official said the arrest took place on the A16 highway when the man was stopped as police hunted for cars suspected of involvement in the attack.

The scene of the attack this morning.
The scene of the attack this morning.

Update - 11.33am: About four hours after the incident, a police spokeswoman said "verifications are still under way" and that police had not definitively identified the vehicle.

The driver's motive is unclear, but officials said he deliberately aimed at the soldiers, and counter-terrorism authorities opened an investigation.

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

Latest: French police search building in Paris following a car attack that injured six soldiers

The street is normally guarded by posts that are removed when vehicles move in and out, according to residents.

The driver must have known exactly when to strike, said resident Jean-Claude Veillant, 70.

Mr Veillant said he saw two uniformed soldiers prone on the ground when he came down to the entrance of his 13-story building at 7:50am on Wednesday morning.

"It was horrible," he said, explaining that both soldiers appeared to be in bad shape and that one of them was unconscious.

Latest: French police search building in Paris following a car attack that injured six soldiers

"They must've really planned this," he said.

A security perimeter was installed around the scene, and the defence minister and interior minister are expected to visit wounded soldiers later.

French counter-terrorism prosecutors opened an investigation aimed at pursuing perpetrators on charges of attempted murder of security forces in connection with a terrorist enterprise, the Paris prosecutor's office said.

Update - 10.14am: Four of the soldiers suffered slight injuries while two were taken to the Percy military hospital south of Paris, police officials said.

They were from the 35th infantry regiment and served in Operation Sentinelle, created to guard prominent French sites after a string of deadly Islamic extremist attacks in 2015, according to the Interior Ministry.

The driver's motive is unclear, but officials said he deliberately aimed at the soldiers.

Latest: French police search building in Paris following a car attack that injured six soldiers

Update - 9.44am: Two police officials said authorities are checking video surveillance of the area near the city hall in Levallois, in the north-west of the capital, to identify the vehicle and hunt down the driver.

They said witnesses described seeing a dark-coloured BMW with one person inside waiting in a cul de sac near a building used for soldiers from the Sentinelle security force, which was created after Islamic extremist attacks in 2015.

One official said the attacker struck in the Place de Verdun just as a group of soldiers emerged from the building to board vehicles for a new shift.

Levallois Mayor Patrick Balkany said on BFM television: "A BMW pre-positioned itself in the alley (where the barracks is located) and barreled into them.

He said the car "accelerated very quickly when they left" the building.

A security perimeter was installed around the scene, and the Paris police chief and regional prosecutor are expected at the site Wednesday morning.

French President Emmanuel Macron is holding a previously scheduled top-level security meeting Wednesday morning.

Earlier: Six people have been injured after a vehicle slammed into soldiers guarding a Paris suburb, French police said.

Authorities are now searching for the vehicle and the driver after the incident in Levallois, north-west of the capital, according to a Paris police spokesman.

The vehicle appeared to clearly target the soldiers but the motive is unclear, the spokesman added.

Two people were seriously injured and four others were less badly hurt, he said.

The incident is the latest in a series targeting security forces in France guarding sites after a string of deadly attacks.

Latest: French police search building in Paris following a car attack that injured six soldiers

The mayor of Levallois said it was a deliberate act targeting security forces.

Patrick Balkany denounced on BFM television what he called an "odious attack" and said it was "without a doubt deliberate".

The incident in the Place de Verdun targeted soldiers from the Sentinelle security force which was created after Islamic extremist attacks in 2015.

It comes four days after a teenager with psychiatric problems tried to attack security forces guarding the Eiffel Tower.

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