09/08/2017 5:33 PM AEST | Updated 09/08/2017 11:17 PM AEST

Man Arrested After Car Slams Into Six Soldiers In Paris Suburb

‘Without a doubt a deliberate attack.’

A man believed to be the “chief suspect” in an attack on soldiers in Paris has been shot and arrested by police, French officials have announced. 

Six soldiers in France were wounded - two seriously - after a car rammed into them in a Paris suburb on Wednesday morning. 

An urgent police manhunt was launched to try and find the driver of the vehicle, which was believed to be a dark BMW. 

A man - described as the “chief suspect” in the case - has since been wounded during a gunfight with police, the Press Association reported. He has been arrested. 

French counter-terror prosecutors have also launched an investigation into the crash. 

The incident occurred at the Place de Verdun in the north-western area of Levallois-Perret. Authorities are checking video surveillance of the area. 

The driver left the scene in the vehicle and remains on the run, police said. 

Police and authorities at the scene of the incident on Wednesday morning 
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The incident occurred in the north-western Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret

A Paris police spokesman said the vehicle appeared to clearly target the soldiers, but the motive is unclear.

Levallois-Perret Mayor Patrick Balkany told BFMTV it was an “odious attack” and said it was “without a doubt a deliberate act.” 

The soldiers were on an Operation Sentinelle routine patrol, which was launched after the Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015 to protect civilians from terror attacks. 

Six soldiers were injured, two seriously 

Witnesses described seeing a BMW with one person on board waiting in a cul-de-sac near a building used for soldiers from the Sentinelle operation.

One official said the attacker hit just as a group of soldiers emerged from the building to board vehicles for a new shift.

According to the BBC, local resident Jean-Claude Veillant told reporters he saw part of the attack.

“I heard a loud noise, the sound of scraping metal. Shortly after, I saw one of the badly wounded lying in front of the Vigipirate [army patrol] vehicle and another one behind it receiving treatment,” he said. 

The incident is the latest of several attacks targeting security forces in France. It comes four days after a teenager with psychiatric problems tried to attack security forces guarding the Eiffel Tower.  

Two months ago a police officer was shot dead on the Champs Elysees. 

POOL New / Reuters
The soldiers were on an Operation Sentinelle routine patrol, which protects civilians from terror attacks (file picture)

France remains on maximum alert after a string of attacks in which Islamist militants or Islamist-inspired attackers have killed more than 230 people over the past two years.