Police search for driver after car crashes into group of French soldiers in Paris

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PARIS — Police are searching for the driver of a car who drove into a group of soldiers outside a barracks in a suburb northwest of Paris on Wednesday morning.

Six soldiers were injured in the incident, two seriously, but their injuries are not life threatening, according to Paris police.

The soldiers were leaving the barracks at the Place de Verdun in Levallois-Perret at 8:15 a.m. local time when they were knocked down by a BMW, according to CNN affiliate BFMTV.

The group of soldiers are part of France’s Operation Sentinel, set up in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terror attack in January 2015.

“There was no doubt that this was a deliberate act,” the mayor of Levallois-Perret, Patrick Balkany, told BFMTV.

Balkany told BFMTV that the car was “pre-positioned” in a small alleyway, waiting for troops from the 35th Infantry Regiment to come out of the building.

One eyewitness, who gave her name as Zakia, told BFMTV that she was awoken by a “boom” before running to her balcony.

“I saw a soldier on the ground … then the fire service and paramedics arrived,” she said. “I saw the whole scene, and I’m shocked.”

Security forces under threat

France’s Minister of the Interior Gerard Collomb wrote on Twitter that he was visiting the soldiers injured in the incident.

Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo tweeted offering “all her support” to those injured, adding “I hope with all my heart that their attacker will be quickly apprehended.”

France has been in a state of emergency since it was introduced after a terror attack in Paris killed 130 people in November 2015.

This is the sixth incident to affect French security forces in 2017 alone.

The incidents have taken place at high-profile tourist destinations such as the Louvre, the Champs-Elysees, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Paris’ Orly airport.

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