A driver wounded six French soldiers in the northwest Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret Wednesday morning in what has been called a "deliberate act" after the auto targeted the troops who were on an anti-terror patrol.
Police have said they are now looking for the vehicle which took off after the incident at about 8am and anti-terrorist police have "taken up the enquiry", according to reports in the French press.
Nadia LeProhon heard the smash and came running out of her building to find two soldiers on the ground and other troops running after a vehicle shouting: "After him!"
After an intense search, officers intercepted the vehicle on the A16 highway that runs from the outskirts of Paris north to Calais, the National Police says. The driver hit six soldiers, seriously injuring three, though none of the injuries were life threatening.
Levallois-Perret is about 3 miles from city center landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Elysee Presidential Palace.
The wave of attacks in France has had a serious impact on tourism in the world's top tourist destination, but the industry has begun to recover as incidents have become more widespread and generally less deadly.
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The fleet had been grounded in June after a crack was discovered in the rotor blade of one helicopter. As the AH-64A "Peten" approached Ramon air base, its pilot reported a technical problem.
"It all happened very quickly", he said. The vehicle did not stop.
He described the attack as a "deliberate aggression".
Another was arrested peacefully after police stopped several cars matching the description of the BMW used in the attack.
The anti-terrorism office of the Paris prosecutors' office, which is in charge of investigating similar cases, has opened probe into the incident.
French politicians have reacted to the attack.
They include a string of assaults on the heavily-armed security forces who now dot the streets of the capital - the last only four days ago.
In June, an Islamic extremist attacked a police officer with a hammer outside Notre Dame cathedral.
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