An anti-terrorism investigation has been launched in Paris after a man attempted to drive a car into a crowd outside a Paris mosque, before being blocked by heroic drivers.
Reports in Paris say other motorists lined up their cars to protect pedestrians after the 4×4 ploughed into a barrier and attempted to mount the kerb.
The attempted attack happened in the southern suburb of Creteil at around 6.20pm, and the 43-year-old suspect was arrested at his home 10 minutes later
French newpaper Le Parisien reports that the man, who was of Armenian origin, told police he was trying to ‘avenge (terror attacks at) the Bataclan and the Champs-Elysees’.
Police have said his motives are not yet known.
Witnesses said he hit a barrier on his first two attempts to plough into worshipers, before heroic motorists blocked his way.The car struck a red Renault Clio before speeding off.
A witness told Le Parisien: ‘People did not yell, everyone remained calm.
‘We saw the car go three times around the mosque, it was strange and all of a sudden it went very fast. It was clearly trying to knock down pedestrians.
Terrorists have driven into crowds in horrific attacks in Nice, Berlin and London, and last week a man was arrested after a van ploughed into crowds outside a mosque in Finsbury Park.
Paris is on a state of high alert following a series of atrocities, including co-ordinated attacks in November 2015 which killed 130 people.
Among the sites targeted by jihadists were the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people were gunned down.
And in April a French police officer was shot dead at the Champs-Elysees by a terrorist.
A police statement said the car crashed into a number of barriers before the driver fled on foot.
A statement said they ‘firmly condemned’ the attempted attack.