The arrest of a man, aged in his late 30s, came hours after a car rammed into soldiers, injuring six. The mayor of Levallois-Perret said the attack was "without any doubt" deliberate.

Police work near the scene where French soldiers were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, August 9, 2017.
Police work near the scene where French soldiers were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, August 9, 2017.

French security forces have shot and arrested a man suspected of being behind an attack on a group of soldiers on Wednesday morning in a Paris suburb.

The man, aged in his late 30s, was intercepted on a motorway north of the French capital in a vehicle used to drive into the soldiers, the sources said, asking not to be named.

TRT World's Sara Firth reports.

Earlier, a vehicle slammed into soldiers guarding a Paris suburb, injuring six of them, before getting away.

Levallois-Perret Mayor Patrick Balkany said a BMW drove into the soldiers as they left their barracks to go on patrol duty.

Speaking to broadcaster BFM TV, Balkany said what he called a "disgusting" act of aggression was "without any doubt" premeditated.

"It all happened very quickly. The vehicle did not stop. It hurtled at them ... it accelerated rapidly." The soldiers were rushed to the hospital, he added.

Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly an investigation had been started to determine "the motives and circumstances" for what she called a "cowardly act."

Police then launched a search for the driver and the vehicle, which they described as dark-coloured and probably a BMW.

The vehicle appeared to clearly target the soldiers but the motive is unclear, the spokesman said. The official was not authorised to be publicly named according to police policy.

Four people were injured lightly, two more seriously, the spokesman said.

Soldiers secure the street near the scene where French soldiers were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, August 9, 2017.
Soldiers secure the street near the scene where French soldiers were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, August 9, 2017.

France remains on maximum alert after a string of attacks in which Daesh-inspired attackers have killed more than 230 people over the past two years.

Levallois-Perret is about 5 kilometres (3 miles) from city centre landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Elysee Presidential Palace and is the site of the latest attack targeting security forces in France.

Scraping metal

Jean-Claude Veillant, a resident of an apartment building directly above the scene, witnessed part of the attack.

"I heard a loud noise, the sound of scraping metal. Shortly after, I saw one of the badly wounded lying in front of the Vigipirate [army patrol] vehicle and another one behind it receiving treatment," he told reporters.

String of bloody attacks

In the bloodiest attack targeting France, 130 people were killed in a wave of shootings and bombings in Paris on November 13, 2015, in carnage claimed by Daesh.

In January 2015, two brothers who had vowed allegiance to Al Qaeda gunned down 12 people at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris over publication of cartoons deemed blasphemous to Muslims.

France is part of the US-led international coalition fighting Daesh and has carried out air strikes against the extremist group in Syria.

In February, a man armed with a machete attacked four soldiers on patrol at Paris' Louvre Museum, while in April another extremist shot and killed a policeman on the Champs Elysees.

In June, a 40-year-old Algerian doctorate student who had pledged allegiance to Daesh attacked a policeman with a hammer outside Notre Dame cathedral.

The attacks have taken a serious toll on tourism to France, one of the the world's top holiday destinations.

Source: AP