Driver tries to hit soldiers with vehicle in French Alps

PARIS (AP) — A man shouted death threats from his car window at French soldiers out for a morning jog in the French Alps, then tried and failed to run several of them over, French officials said Thursday.

According to the head of the soldiers’ brigade, Colonel Alain Didier, a suspect is “allegedly” now in custody. Didier said four soldiers were targeted in the attempted car attack.

No injuries have been reported and the motives of the attempted attack are unclear.

French authorities are on high alert as the incident occurred one week after an Islamic extremist shot at police returning from jogging in southern France, before taking hostages in a supermarket in an attack that claimed four lives.

Thursday’s suspect drove around the military barracks in Varces-Allieres-et-Risset, in the southeastern Isere region, shouting at groups of soldiers from the 27th Mountain Infantry Brigade, Col. Benoit Brulon, a French Army spokesman, told The Associated Press.

He returned later and tried to run down some of the soldiers with his car. The soldiers dodged the vehicle before the suspect made a quick getaway.

Brulon said several of the soldiers were questioned by gendarmes in nearby Grenoble where a police inquiry has been opened.