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17.27 10 Nov 2017


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Updated: 18.50

A car has been driven into three students near the French city of Toulouse, leaving two people in a serious condition.

French police told the AFP news agency that the man driving the Renault Clio was arrested immediately afterwards in Blagnac, in the Haute-Garonne region.

The source said that the 28-year-old driver told police he had acted "deliberately", but was not on a list of known extremists.

According to local media reports all three students hit by the car were Chinese.

Two men aged 22 and 23, and a 23-year woman who was in a more serious condition, were hit on a pedestrian crossing outside IGS College just before 4.00pm local time (3.00pm Irish time), the reports said.

They were taken by ambulance to Purpan Hospital.

The driver attempted to drive off but was stopped by police and arrested straight away.

As he was arrested by police he told them he heard voices telling him to hurt someone, local media said.

Police say the man is known for previous minor offences, especially drugs-related.

French media has said the driver spent time in a psychiatric hospital and has a history of schizophrenia and drug use.

He said he wanted revenge, but did not specify what for.

Toulouse prosecutor Pierre-Yves Couilleau, said his office had opened an attempted murder investigation "because the driver was planning to mow people down".

He said: "At this point, we are looking at the psychiatric profile of the suspect, who was sentenced a dozen times and was subject to probation and care obligations."

Paul, a communications student at IGS Campus, told La Depeche: "I was in class and I heard sirens.

"We thought there was an accident because when we got off the campus there were a lot of police cars around.

"The school management did not explain what was going on."

Several post-18 colleges are located on the campus, including the International Institute of Trade and Development.

100 Chinese students were enrolled this year on an MBA course at the institute, the local paper said.


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