FRENCH police shot and arrested a man on Wednesday suspected of deliberately ramming his car into a group of soldiers in a Parisian suburb hours earlier, injuring six of them in what the government called a deliberate attack.
Armed police from elite units tracked the fugitive for five hours after the attack before cornering him on a motorway in northern France and shooting him several times.
The suspect was unarmed when he was trapped by police some 260 km north of Paris where he had attacked the soldiers in the affluent suburb of Levallois-Perret, a judicial source said.
The man appeared to have lain in wait for the soldiers in a pedestrian zone near their base in Levallois-Perret on the north western edge of the capital where France’s domestic counter-terrorism agency is based.
He accelerated his BMW car into the troops, who were starting their patrol, when they were a few metres away, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said, before speeding off and sparking a huge manhunt.
‘This was a deliberate act, not an accident, ’Collomb told reporters outside the hospital where the three more seriously injured victims were being treated.
He said a terrorism investigation had been launched.
The French press named the suspect as 37-year-old Hamou B., originally from Satrouville west of Paris and said that searches had been carried out at his home and those of his associates.
Levallois-Perret is about 5 km (3 miles) from city centre landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Elysee Presidential Palace.