Paris car-ramming sparks debate over anti-terror patrols

On Wednesday, a 36-year-old Algerian man was arrested after a motorway car chase and is suspected of driving a BMW into a group of servicemen in a suburb of Paris earlier in the day, injuring six of them.

Paris car-ramming sparks debate over anti-terror patrols

World Bulletin / News Desk

The latest attack on French anti-terror soldiers sparked debate on Thursday over whether troops should remain on patrol around the country after being repeatedly targeted by extremists.

Named as Hamou B., he was shot five times by police and was recovering in hospital in northern Lille and was not well enough to be questioned, a police source said.

The man, a taxi driver, had no previous convictions and was not on France's terror watch list.

The incident was the sixth attack on patrolling soldiers since 7,000 troops were ordered onto the streets in January 2015 after an attack by two jihadists on the offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Leftist lawmaker Clementine Autain charged Thursday that the force is counterproductive, telling French radio: "Most of their operations are aimed at protecting themselves."

The soldiers form part of so-called "Sentinelle" force which patrols French streets and guards high-risk areas such as tourist sites and religious buildings.

In one dramatic incident, a 39-year-old man was gunned down at Paris's Orly airport on March 18 after attacking a soldier and shouting: "I am ready to die for Allah."

On February 3, a 29-year-old Egyptian armed with a machete in each hand attacked four soldiers at Paris's Louvre Museum, shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God Is Greatest).

Right-wing MP Daniel Fasquelle called for an overhaul of the Sentinelle force.

He questioned whether the soldiers were adequately trained for the job of preventing the kind of terror attacks that have claimed more than 230 lives in France. 

Vincent Desportes, former director of France's military academy the Ecole Superieure de Guerre, told AFP: "Since the beginning they have essentially served as targets."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Ağustos 2017, 17:53