Three Chinese students sustained multiple injuries after a man deliberately rammed his car into a crowd of people near a school in southern France on Friday.
The victims, all in their 20s, were reportedly on a crosswalk in front of the Blagnac campus of the Institute for Social Research in Toulouse city when the man drove his car into them.
Local authorities immediately arrested the 28-year-old suspect at the scene, reports Reuters.
One of those hurt in the attack was a young woman who is now being treated for serious head injuries. Two men aged 22 and 23 were also hurt.
Police sources indicated that while the driver of the vehicle has been known to commit minor offenses, he was not on a terrorism watchlist. The unnamed suspect was simply described as a single man who lives with his mother in Blagnac.
In an interview with news channel BFM TV (via SBS), Toulouse prosecutor Pierre-Yves Couilleau denied the possibility that the man was motivated by terrorism, saying the attack was “nothing of that order”.
“For the moment, it is not being looked at as a terrorist incident although it is also not ruled out,” he was quoted as saying.
The prosecutor noted that the suspect has a long history of psychological problems and has been hospitalized until December last year.
“What matters, in this case, is the psychiatric profile of the person,” he added. “The individual arrested immediately after the event said he had been planning this act for a month.”
In response to the crime, Toulouse Mayor Jean-Luc Moudenc tweeted (in French): “Very shocked by the aggression towards the students in Blagnac. We offer all our support to them and their loved ones.”
— Jean-Luc Moudenc (@jlmoudenc) November 10, 2017
China has recently asked France to “ensure the security” of Chinese, who have been recently been regularly targeted by local thieves. Earlier this month, some 40 Chinese tourists were robbed by a group of thugs armed with teargas at the parking lot of a three-star hotel near Paris’s Orly Airport.
Feature image via Youtube/CGTN America