French terror attacker still in a critical state after shooting with police

French terror attacker still in a critical state after shooting with police


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The man who deliberately rammed his car into a group of soldiers in a Parisian suburb on Wednesday, injuring six of them, is reported to be still in a critical state.

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 man was named by local media as Hamou Benlatrèche, 36, an Algerian who was convicted of staying illegally in France but subsequently given a residence permit.

The suspect was arrested on the A16 south of Calais after being hit five times by members of the Research and Intervention Brigade, part of the national police.

He 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.

The man appeared to have waited for the soldiers in a pedestrian zone near their base in Levallois-Perret on the northwestern 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 meters 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.

The soldiers were part of Operation Sentinel, launched in the wake of Islamist attacks in Paris in early 2015. The Levallois-Perret attack was the 15th on troops and police in the last two-and-a-half years, many of them Islamic State-inspired.

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