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At least three injured in vehicle attack near Toulouse, police say

Olybrius, Wikimedia Creative Commons | Blagnac town centre.

A man deliberately ran his car into a group of Chinese students outside a high school near Toulouse in southern France on Friday, police sources said, injuring at least three people, two of them seriously.


The driver of the vehicle, a 28-year-old man who was known to police for minor offences, was arrested at the scene, the sources said.

The driver, who was arrested in the city's Blagnac suburb, acted "deliberately" but was not on a list of known extremists, one source said, asking not to be named.

France has been the target of a series of vehicle attacks by extremists inspired by the Islamic State group, but there was no immediate confirmation of the driver's identity nor motive.

The BFM news channel said officers were checking reports that the perpetrator suffered from psychological problems.

All three of Friday's victims were in their twenties, with a 23-year-old woman the most seriously injured and two men aged 22 and 23 also hurt.

Vehicle attacks have become increasingly common in France and around the world. A pickup driver killed eight people in New York on October 31, mowing down cyclists and pedestrians before striking a school bus and coming to a halt. Five of the victims were Argentinians visiting the city as part of a school reunion.

A driver ploughed into crowds on Las Ramblas in Barcelona on August 17, killing 15 people, followed hours later by a car attack that left another dead in the seaside resort town of Cambrils.

Berlin, London, Nice, Paris and Stockholm have all seen perpetrators drive vehicles into crowds with the intent of maiming or killing their victims. 

>> Car ramming attacks: Cheap, deadly and hard to prevent

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)


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