Abdallah Imam Dliouah
Abdallah Dliouah, Imam of the Valence mosque, was quick to react on Facebook following the attackAbdallah Dliouah: Facebook

A team of French soldiers have opened fire on a car that attempted to run them down while they were guarding a mosque in the town of Valence, Rhône-Alpes, France. The driver of the car refused to heed orders to stop and the driver and a passenger in the car were injured by bullets in the surprise attack.

Three soldiers are reported to have been injured as were bystanders to the event in the Drôme region of France. A stray bullet hit a worshipper, according to the mosque's imam, Abdallah Dliouah.

The driver has been arrested by the security services, but there appears to be no clear motive for the incident. According to local sources, the man is believed to have originated from the city of Lyon in the centre of the country. The incident happened at 2.30pm local time.

Dliouah issued a statement on Facebook saying: "A serious event occurred this afternoon to 14.30 in the parking lot of the mosque. An individual unknown to the mosque drove his vehicle at the military personnel responsible for the protection of the mosque and stationed in front of the building.

"When challenged they discharged their firearms injuring the individual. A worshipper at the mosque was slightly wounded by a stray bullet."

He added that the officials at the mosque had been "deeply shocked" by the act, but that it would not dampen their resolve to promote harmony within the community. He added that the officials at the mosque had been "deeply shocked" by the act, but that it would not dampen their resolve to promote harmony within the community.

France has been on a high terror alert since the atrocities committed in the capital Paris in November when Islamic State (Isis) militants stalked the city's streets with semi-automatic weapons killing 130 people. The atmosphere of tension was further heightened yesterday (31 December) with the foiling of a terror plot in the German city of Munich.