French police have arrested the suspected driver who injured six soldiers by ramming a vehicle into them as they left their barracks on Wednesday. The suspect was wounded in a brief gunfight with police in a Paris suburb and then was taken into custody after a brief standoff with authorities.
As the police were hunting for the vehicle, they spotted the suspect driving a BMW on a highway north of Paris. As they attempted to take him into custody, the arrest turned violent and shots were fired. French police believe that the suspect involved in the attack had a terror motive.
The condition of the suspect, who was not immediately identified, is unknown. Three of the six soldiers received serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The soldiers were part of the 35th infantry regiment in the suburb of Saint-Mande and were leaving their barracks just after 8 a.m. when the attack occurred. France’s Interior Minister Gerard Collomb told reporters the driver targeted the soldiers in a calculated car attack.
“We know it was a deliberate act,” Collomb said. Defense Minister Florence Parly called it a reminder that extra security measures imposed in recent years are “more necessary than ever.”
Nadia LeProhon, a witness, told The Associated Press she heard a loud crash outside her building and rushed outside to see two soldiers on the ground. Other soldiers ran after the speeding car, shouting “After him! Follow that car!”
The French soldiers were part of Opération Sentinelle, an anti-terrorism operation that was created after the 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. The mission’s aim is to protect civilians in the capital. This marks the sixth time in the past three years that members of the unit have been targeted by terrorists.
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