Paris attack: 'Algerian-born' suspect in Lille hospital

image source, AFP
image captionThe BMW (centre) had bullet holes and a smashed windscreen after the chase

The man wounded by French police after an alleged attack on soldiers has been identified as a 36-year-old Algerian who was not on a watch list.

He is in hospital in Lille, northern France. His life is not in danger.

French media say he was injured by five police bullets when his BMW hire car was chased and stopped on the A16 motorway near Boulogne.

Earlier six soldiers were injured - three seriously - when a BMW was driven at them in a Paris suburb.

The soldiers were attacked in a pedestrian zone, outside an apartment block where they were staying in Levallois-Perret. None of their injuries are considered life-threatening.

The Paris prosecutor described Wednesday morning's attack as "attempted killings... in relation to a terrorist undertaking".

France, involved in the fight against so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, has frequently been the target of attacks by Islamist militants.

image source, Getty Images
image captionTroops at the crime scene in Levallois-Perret, an upmarket Parisian suburb

A state of emergency in force since November 2015 includes highly visible patrols under Operation Sentinel, numbering some 7,000 troops.

The suspect in Lille was on police records because of an earlier minor infringement, but he had normal French residency status. The intelligence services did not know of him, French media report.

He was unarmed when he was cornered by police on the motorway some 260km (162 miles) north of Paris.

He is a resident of Sartrouville, in the north-western suburbs of Paris, French media report.

There is an intense debate now about Operation Sentinel, since President Emmanuel Macron called for it to be reassessed. Some critics say the operation makes the security forces easier targets for terrorists.

On 13 November 2015, 130 people were killed in a night of attacks in Paris, and more than 100 have been killed in jihadist attacks since.

Wednesday's attack at about 08:15 local time (06:15 GMT) took place in a pedestrian zone near the soldiers' base on the Place de Verdun in Levallois-Perret.

Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said the car had been driven deliberately at the troops and the attack had been carried out by a "man on his own".

It was driven slowly until it came within 5m (16ft) of the patrol before accelerating towards them, he said.

Recent attacks on Paris security services

image source, EPA

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