A 12-year-old girl has been killed and at least six people injured after a driver “intentionally” rammed his car into patrons at a pizza restaurant east of Paris, police say.
French police said the driver was arrested soon after the incident on Monday night local time in the town of Sept-Sorts.
French officials said the driver clearly acted intentionally, but said they had no reason so far to suspect a terrorist motive.
“I cannot tell you that terrorism has been discounted, but it is not the leading line of inquiry at this point. The first indications don’t point towards terrorism,” spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told BFM TV on Monday.
He described the man as a “depressive” and said he was about 30 years old.
According to RTL radio, the driver, 39, told police he had wanted to kill himself and had weapons in the car.
A photograph published on social media showed a grey BMW car surrounded by upturned tables in the outdoor seating area of a restaurant. Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the image.
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Officers from the national gendarmerie put up a security cordon around the scene and urged the public not to hinder their operation.
Authorities initially said the victim was eight years old, but later said she was 13.
An Algerian man drove his car into a group of French soldiers last week, and a truck attack in the French city of Nice left 86 people dead a little more than a year ago.
Several other countries have seen cars used as weapons in recent years.
The soldiers were part of Operation Sentinel, launched in the wake of Islamist attacks in Paris in early 2015.
More to come
– with AAP