French police have identified a 37-year-old Algerian man as the suspect who allegedly ran his car into a group of soldiers in a suspected terror attack Wednesday.
The man, named Hamou Benlatreche, is a legal resident of France who was known to authorities over minor crimes, The Associated Press reported Thursday. He lives in a suburb north of Paris, close to the scene where the soldiers were targeted as they left military barracks.
Six French soldiers were injured, two of them seriously, in a hit and run in the suburb of Levallois-Perret. Benlatreche was shot and arrested a few hours after the attack as he was heading for the port of Calais– a port that serves as a land and sea entrance to the United Kingdom, and a frequent stop-over for migrants on their way there.
Levallois-Perret Mayor Patrick Balkany said there is “no doubt” that the incident was deliberate, as the car “accelerated very quickly” when the soldiers left the barracks.
“A BMW pre-positioned itself in the alley and barreled into them,” Balkany told BFM TV.
More than 230 people have been killed in terror attacks in France since the start of 2015. The country has been in a state of emergency for almost two years.