15 Aug 2017

Girl killed as car rams cafe near Paris

11:07 am on 15 August 2017

A car ploughed into the terrace of a pizzeria in a village east of the French capital Paris, killing a young girl and seriously injuring several other people.

Prosecutor Eric de Valroger told reporters at the scene he was ruling out for now terrorism as a motive but was opening a murder investigation.

The prosecutor confirmed that a 12-year-old girl was killed when the car rammed into the cafe at Sept-Sorts, in Seine-et-Marne.

A French Interior Ministry spokesman said five victims were being treated in hospital for life-threatening injuries. Eight others suffered minor injuries.

The incident occurred on a warm summer's evening on the eve of a national holiday and witnesses said the outdoor eating area was busy.

"Everyone on the terrace was hit," one witness told France's BFM TV.

The driver of the BMW car, reportedly in his 30s, was arrested.

According to French radio RTL, the driver told police he had wanted to kill himself and had weapons in the car.

The incident occurred less than a week after an Algerian national was arrested on suspicion of deliberately ramming a hired car into a group of soldiers on a patrol in a Parisian suburb, injuring six of them.

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.

- Reuters / BBC

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