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Terror attacks in France: A timeline

LiveMint logoLiveMint 09-08-2017 AFP

Paris: French police launched a manhunt on Wednesday after a car rammed into soldiers near their barracks outside Paris, injuring six people, two of them seriously. Police were scrambling to track down the vehicle, which took off after the incident described by local mayor Patrick Balkany as “without a doubt a deliberate act”.

The incident took place at about 8am local time outside a military barracks in the northwestern Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret.

Balkany told the all-news channel BFMTV that the car “accelerated very fast when they (soldiers) were coming out” of the barracks.

France has been under a state of emergency since November 2015 and has seen a string of attacks on security forces, particularly those guarding key tourist sites.

On Saturday an 18-year-old with a history of psychological problems was arrested on Saturday at the Eiffel Tower after brandishing a knife and shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest). He told investigators he wanted to kill a soldier, sources close to the case told AFP.

Here is a recap of major attacks and foiled attempts since the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January 2015:

2015

■ 7-9 January: Two men armed with Kalashnikov rifles storm the Paris offices of satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo killing 12 people. A policewoman is killed just outside Paris the following day, while a gunman takes hostages at a Jewish supermarket, four of whom are killed. The attackers are killed in separate shootouts with police, but not before claiming allegiance to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS).

■ 3 February: A knife-wielding man attacks three soldiers guarding a Jewish community centre in Nice on the French Riviera. The 30-year-old assailant, Moussa Coulibaly, is arrested. In custody, he expresses his hatred for France, the police, the military and Jews.

■ 19 April: Sid Ahmed Ghlam, an Algerian IT student, is arrested on suspicion of killing a woman who was found shot dead in her car, and of planning an attack on a church in the Paris suburb of Villejuif. Prosecutors say they found documents about Al-Qaeda and IS at his home, and that he had been in touch with a suspected jihadist in Syria about an attack on a church.

■ 26 June: Frenchman Yassin Salhi, 35, kills and beheads his boss Herve Cornara and displays the severed head, surrounded by two Islamic flags, on the fence of a gas plant in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier in southeastern France. He tries to blow up the factory, but is arrested. He commits suicide in his jail cell in December.

■ 13 July: Four men aged 16 to 23, including a former soldier, are arrested on charges of planning an attack on a military camp to behead an officer in the name of jihad. They proclaim allegiance to IS.

■ 21 August: Passengers prevent a bloodbath on a high-speed Thalys train from Amsterdam to Paris, tackling a man who opened fire on travellers. He was armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, an automatic pistol and a box-cutter. The gunman is identified as 25-year-old Moroccan national Ayoub El Khazzani, known to intelligence services for links to radical Islam.

■ 13 November: IS jihadists armed with assault rifles and explosives strike outside a France-Germany football match at the national stadium, Paris cafes, and the Bataclan concert hall in a coordinated assault that leaves 130 people dead and more than 350 wounded, the deadliest attack of its kind in French history.

2016

■ 7 January: A man wielding a meat cleaver and carrying an IS emblem is shot dead as he tries to attack a police station in Paris. Convicted of theft in 2013, the man identified himself at the time as Moroccan-born Sallah Ali.

Also read | Live: French police seek vehicle after 6 soldiers hit and injured

■ 13 June: Larossi Abballa, 25, kills police officer Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, and his partner, Jessica Schneider, 36, at their home in Magnanville, west of Paris. Salvaing is stabbed to death, while Schneider’s throat is slit in front of their young son. Abballa is killed by a police SWAT team, but has already claimed the murders on social media in the name of the Islamic State group.

■ 14 July: A truck ploughs through a crowd on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais after a Bastille Day fireworks display, killing 84 people and injuring over 330. The driver, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, 31, is shot dead by security forces. IS claims responsibility.

■ 26 July: Attackers slit the throat of a priest in a hostage-taking at his church in the Normandy town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

2017

■ 3 February: A man armed with a machete in each hand attacks four soldiers on patrol at Paris’s Louvre Museum, shouting “Allahu Akbar”. The attacker, a 29-year-old Egyptian, was seriously injured.

■ 18 March: A 39-year-old man is killed at Paris’s Orly airport after attacking a soldier. The attacker shouted: “I am ready to die for Allah,” according to the Paris prosecutor, Francois Molins.

■ 19 April: Police arrest two Frenchmen in their 20s in Marseille on suspicion of planning an attack, with bomb-making materials and guns found in searches.

■ 21 April: A known terror suspect shoots dead a policeman and wounds two others on the Champs-Elysees, before being killed in return fire, in an assault claimed by the Islamic State group.

■ 5 August: Soldiers at the Eiffel Tower in Paris arrest a knife-wielding man, a former psychiatric patient, after he leaps a security barrier shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

■ 9 August: A car drives into soldiers on patrol outside a military barracks in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, injuring six people, two seriously.

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