Arrest after man drives into Vatican

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A man has been arrested after trying to rush the gates of the Vatican. 

The Vatican said the man drove a car at high speed into Vatican City State at around 8pm local time on Thursday night.

The Holy See Press Office said the man drove past two checkpoints of the Swiss Guard and Vatican Gendarmerie and got as far as the Damascus Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace. 

A gendarme shot at the vehicle's front tires "in an attempt to stop the car", the Holy See Press Office said. 

The man was apprehended in the Damascus Courtyard after leaving his vehicle "independently". 

Vatican doctors who tended to him after the incident said he was in a "serious state of psychophysical alteration".

The man is around 40 years old and is being held in Vatican barracks. 

The Holy See did not say whether Pope Francis was in his residence at the time of the incident.