Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

A car rammed into a group of soldiers in a Parisian suburb on Wednesday, injuring six before speeding off in what officials identified as a suspected terrorist attack.

The vehicle, a BMW, was parked in an alley before it accelerated into the soldiers as they left their barracks to go on patrol, said Patrick Balkany, mayor of Levallois-Perret.

“The vehicle did not stop. It hurtled at them … it accelerated rapidly,” he told broadcaster BFM TV.

Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said the driver was on the run and being sought, and an investigation was under way to determine “the motives and circumstances” for what she called a “cowardly act”.

A justice ministry official said counter-terrorism investigators had been assigned to the case.

The incident follows a string of Islamist-inspired attacks on soldiers and police, who have been deployed in large numbers nationwide after calls by militant group Islamic State for attacks on France and other countries bombing its strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

The soldiers hit on Wednesday were rushed to hospital and police said two of the six were seriously injured. (Reuters)

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Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

Military officers set up a security perimeter near the site where six soldiers of the anti-terrorism Sentinelle operation were hit by a car in Levallois-Perret, near Paris, France, Aug. 9, 2017. (Photo: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA/REX/Shutterstock)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

Officials and rescuers gather near vehicles after a car slammed into soldiers on patrol in Levallois-Perret, outside Paris on August 9, 2017 injuring six, two of them seriously, police in the French capital said. (Photo: Thierry Chappe/AFP/Getty Images)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

Police and soldiers secure the scene where French soliders were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, August 9, 2017. (Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb (C) speaks to the press next to French Defence Minister Florence Parly (R) after meeting with soldiers wounded in an attack this morning in Levallois-Perret at the Begin Military Teaching Hospital in Saint-Mande, outside Paris, on August 9, 2017. Photo: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

French soldier stands next to the scene where French soldiers were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret near Paris, France, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. (Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

Police work near the scene where French soliders were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, Aug. 9, 2017. (Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

French soldiers gather at the site where a car slammed into soldiers on patrol in Levallois-Perret, outside Paris, on August 9, 2017. (Photo: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

People are looking the area where a group of soldiers were hit by a car on August 9, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

French Police work on the scene where French soldiers were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret near Paris, France, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. (Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

Soldiers secure the area near the scene where French soliders were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, Aug. 9, 2017. (Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

Police secure the area near the scene where French soliders were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, France, Aug. 9, 2017. (Photo: Benoit Tessier/Reuters)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

An armed French soldier stands at the site where a car slammed into soldiers in Levallois-Perret, outside Paris, on August 9, 2017. (Photo: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

French police officers work on the scene where French soldiers were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret near Paris, France, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. (Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

French soldiers stand near the scene where French soldiers were hit and injured by a vehicle in the western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret near Paris, France, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. (Photo: Kamil Zihnioglu/AP)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

Police secure the area where a group of soldiers were hit by a car on August 9, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

An armed French soldier patrols next to a forensic police officer near the site where a car slammed into soldiers in Levallois-Perret, outside Paris, on August 9, 2017.
(Photo: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images)

Car attack on soldiers in Paris suburb

Armed French police officers stand at the entrance of the Begin Military Teaching Hospital in Saint-Mande, outside Paris, on August 9, 2017, where the French soldiers injured earlier in the morning in Levallois-Perret are being treated. (Photo: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP/Getty Images)