Car ploughs into pizzeria near Paris, killing young girl

A car plowed into the outdoor terrace of a pizzeria in the small town of Sept-Sorts east of Paris on Monday, killing a teenage girl and seriously injuring several other people, a French Interior Ministry spokesman said.
French gendarmes maintain a roadblock where a car ploughed into the outdoor terrace of a pizzeria, killing a young girl and injuring several others in Sept-Sorts, east of Paris on  Aug14, 2017.
French gendarmes maintain a roadblock where a car ploughed into the outdoor terrace of a pizzeria, killing a young girl and injuring several others in Sept-Sorts, east of Paris on Aug14, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEPT-SORTS, France (REUTERS/AFP) - A car ploughed into the outdoor terrace of a pizzeria in the small town of Sept-Sorts east of Paris on Monday, killing a 13-year-old girl and injuring four other people, a French Interior Ministry spokesman said.

He said the driver had been arrested and the early indications were that it was not an act of terrorism.

"I cannot tell you that terrorism has been discounted, but it is not the leading line of inquiry at this point. The first indications don't point towards terrorism," spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told BFM TV.

He described the man as a "depressive" and said he was about 30 years old. Investigators said he had tried to commit suicide.

Officers from the national gendarmerie put up a security cordon around the scene and urged the public not to hinder their operation.

A photograph published on social media showed a grey BMW car surrounded by upturned tables in the outdoor seating area of a restaurant. Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the image.

Earlier, BFM TV gave the dead girl's age as eight.

The incident occurred less than a week after an Algerian national was arrested on suspicion of deliberately ramming a hire car into a group of soldiers on a patrol in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, injuring six of them.

The soldiers were part of Operation Sentinel, launched in the wake of Islamist attacks in Paris in early 2015. The Levallois-Perret attack was the 15th on troops and police in the last two-and-a-half years, many of them ISIS-inspired.

The suspect, a 36-year-old Algerian man, was later shot and wounded after a dramatic motorway chase.

The death toll from extremistt attacks in France has exceeded 230 since January 2015.

The country has been under a state of emergency since ISIS attacked in Paris in November 2015, leaving 130 people dead.