Six French soldiers were injured Wednesday morning in what officials are calling a deliberate terror attack carried out in a BMW car as the soldiers were standing outside their military barracks during a changing of the guard.
The attack occurred around 8 a.m. local time in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret. Local news media reported that all the soldiers are being treated at a hospital, with three of the soldiers seriously injured, though none have life-threatening injuries.
The Telegraph reported that the BMW rammed a military vehicle, which in turn hit the soldiers. The BMW then sped away before it could be stopped.
Ironically, the injured were counter-terrorism soldiers, and the area where the attack occurred is home to France’s main intelligence agency and an area where military exercises are conducted.
Local residents first thought all the ambulances and police vehicles were simply part of an exercise.
The Telegraph reported a witness, Nadia LeProhon, who described hearing an ear-piercing scream of pain and seeing officers chasing after a speeding car. “I’ll never forget that scream – a scream of pain and distress,” she said.
Police reported that the driver of the BMW appeared to “ambush” the soldiers, ramming into them as they exited the building and approached their vehicles to start a new shift.
A massive hunt to find the suspect was soon underway, and at just after 1:00 p.m. local time, reports came in that a shootout had occurred on a motorway in northern France wherein a man in his late 30s had been arrested.
Mayor Patrick Balkany said he saw the BMW drive into the group of soldiers, and he has no doubt it was a deliberate act.
President Trump retweeted about the story this morning.
This is a developing story.
BREAKING: French officials: Man arrested north of Paris, police investigating possible link to car attack on soldiers.
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 9, 2017
Car rams soldiers near Paris in ‘deliberate’ attack. 6 injured.unit defending against Islamic terrorist attacks https://t.co/RG84EdnMC7
— Joe McKinley (@bartmckinley) August 9, 2017
— dwnews (@dwnews) August 9, 2017
First images from the scene of the attack in Paris pic.twitter.com/k2oqN0y11I
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 9, 2017
Place de Verdun in Levallois-Perret where soldiers were hit. Hardly a main street. Town hall to bottom right. Mayor says ‘deliberate act’. pic.twitter.com/3ZtoTD3USZ
— Oliver Gee (@olivergee23) August 9, 2017
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