Three hurt in auto attack near Toulouse: French police

French police officers

A French prosecutor said a vehicle that rammed into a group of students in a city in southwest France on Friday was driven by a man known to have "psychiatric" problems.

Officers said the 28-year-old man was known to the authorities and had a previous history of drug use and schizophrenia. There are fears of a terrorist attack.

Toulouse prosecutor Pierre-Yves Couilleau said: "The individual was known to the police and the judiciary for several offences".

All three victims were in their twenties, with a 23-year-old woman the most seriously injured and two men - aged 22 and 23 also hurt.

A local police source said: "The auto mounted the pavement soon after 4pm and caused vast panic as it targeted students leaving the college".

The attack occurred in front of the Blagnac campus of the Institute for Social Research, an AFP journalist said.

In the wake of the incident, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb tweeted that "Support for injured young people in Blagnac".

The reports said the victims were from China and are in their early 20s.

France has seen a number of vehicle attacks inspired by the Islamic State group.

Last summer, a Tunisian man used a large truck to kill 86 people in the southern French city of Nice.

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