An anti-terrorism investigation has been launched in Paris after a man tried to drive a car into a crowd outside a Paris mosque, before being blocked by heroic drivers.

Reports in Paris say other motorists lined up their cars to protect pedestrians after the 4x4 ploughed into a barrier and tried to mount the kerb.

The attempted attack happened in the southern suburb of Creteil about 6.20pm, and the 43-year-old suspect was arrested at his home 10 minutes later, the Daily Mail reports.

French newpaper Le Parisien reports that he told police he was trying to "avenge [terror attacks at] the Bataclan and the Champs-Elysees".

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Police have said his motives are not yet known.

Witnesses said he hit a barrier on his first two attempts to plough into worshipers, before heroic motorists blocked his way.

The car struck a red Renault Clio before speeding off.

A witness told Le Parisien: "People did not yell, everyone remained calm.

"We saw the car go three times around the mosque, it was strange and all of a sudden it went very fast. It was clearly trying to knock down pedestrians."

Terrorists have driven into crowds in horrific attacks in Nice, Berlin and London, and last week a man was arrested after a van ploughed into crowds outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, North London.

Paris is in a state of high alert after a series of atrocities, including co-ordinated attacks in November 2015, which killed 130 people.

Among the sites targeted by jihadists were the Bataclan concert hall, where 89 people were gunned down.

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