Paris attack: Hunt on for BMW driver who mowed down six soldiers

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The driver is on the run.

The suspect, described only as a man in his 30s, was taken into custody hours after his BMW rammed into a group of servicemen in the suburban neighborhood of Levallois-Perret, to the northwest of Paris, and then sped away. Police have closed off the roads.

France's police department said in a message on Twitter that a search for the vehicle was under way. He also said the auto appeared to have waited in a nearby alleyway until the soldiers emerged from their barracks to start their patrol.

"I find this shameful", Levallois-Perret Mayor Patrick Balkany said, calling the incident an "intolerable aggression".

According to Reuters, France has been subject to state of emergency legislation, giving police extended powers since the November 2015 attacks. The vehicle did not stop.

Parly said three of the soldiers were "more seriously injured".

One source close to the case said the man had been stopped at the wheel of a BMW driving towards the northern port of Calais.

They were part of the 7,000-strong counterterrorism Sentinelle force set up in January 2015, which sees armed, uniformed soldiers patrol the streets and guard high-risk areas such as tourist sites and religious buildings.

"A BMW pre-positioned itself in the alley and barreled into them", Balkany told BFM TV. Other soldiers ran after the speeding vehicle, shouting "After him!" "A vehicle that was in the neighborhood approached" the group of soldiers, "it was rolling slowly, at about 5 meters from the soldiers, it accelerated to be able to strike them", explained the Minister of the Interior Gérard Collomb.

Two people were seriously injured and four others were less badly hurt, a spokesman said.

The mayor of Levallois said it was a deliberate act targeting security forces.

Policemen guard near the attack site in Levallois-Perret, France on August 9, 2017.

The counter-terrorism unit of the Paris prosecutor's office has launched an investigation into the incident, AFP reports, citing the prosecutor's office.

In April, a policeman was shot dead on the Champs-Elysees by a man with a long criminal record, who investigators determined was acting from terrorist motives.