11 people have been injured after a man heard shouting 'Allahu Akbar' ('God is Great') drove into a crowd of people in the eastern French city of Dijon.

Two of the victims are believed to have been seriously injured after the driver targeted passersby in five different areas of the eastern city.

According to Le Figaro, three people were in the car at the time of the attacks. A police source said: "He ran over as many people as he could in a Renault Clio, and many are suffering with very serious head injuries."

The 40-year-old was known to police, and may have carried out a copycat attack based on terrorist related incidents in his home country, and in Australia.

Witnesses told police he was also heard shouting that he was "acting for the children of Palestine"

It has been reported that the suspect was known to authorities and is a psychiatric patient.

A source close to the investigation said: "The man, born in 1974, is apparently imbalanced and had been in a psychiatric hospital," adding that "for now his motives are still unclear".

Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the suspect was a lone wolf. "According to our information he was acting alone," said Mr Brandet. "He was arrested in the centre of the city, and was immediately placed in custody."

He added that the man, who has not yet been identified, "may face terrorist charges, but that will be a decision for the justice system."

The driver was thought to be heading for a police station in Dijon, but only got as far as surrounding streets before his car was stopped.

The incident comes just a day after a knife-wielding man stabbed three officers in a police station in the central town of Joue-les-Tours.

The 20-year-old, who had converted to Islam, was also heard shouting "Allahu Akbar".

Security has been stepped up at police and fire stations across France.