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Man Arrested For Trying to Kill French Soldiers

Man Arrested For Trying to Kill French SoldiersMan Arrested For Trying to Kill French Soldiers

French police arrested a man Wednesday in the search for a driver who slammed his BMW into soldiers in a Paris suburb Wednesday, injuring six of them in what appeared to be a carefully timed ambush before speeding away, officials said.

The driver's motive was unclear, but officials said he deliberately aimed at the soldiers, and counterterrorism authorities opened an investigation. None of the soldiers had life-threatening injuries, authorities said, AP reported.

The Paris prosecutors' office said its anti-terrorism unit has launched a probe into "attempted killings... in relation to a terrorist undertaking".

Defense Minister Florence Parly condemned the car ramming as a "cowardly act", saying it did "nothing to dent soldiers' determination to work for the security of the French people".

France, which has been under a state of emergency since the November 2015 attacks in Paris, has seen a string of assaults on security forces, including those guarding key tourist sites.

Parly said three of the soldiers were "more seriously injured". All six were hospitalized, but none have life-threatening injuries, Balkany said.

They are part of the 7,000-strong anti-terrorism Sentinelle force set up after the November 2015 bombings and shootings that killed 130 people in the French capital and were claimed by the self-styled Islamic State terror group.

IS has repeatedly said that France is a target because of its participation in the US-led international coalition fighting the jihadist group, with French jets carrying out air strikes against the extremist group in Syria.

Wednesday's incident took place at about 8:00 am (0600 GMT) outside the barracks in the northwestern Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret.

"This morning, as a group of our soldiers were leaving their barracks to go out on patrol, a BMW vehicle parked in the alley rammed into them," Balkany told news channel BFMTV, adding that the car had "accelerated very fast".

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