Sunday 11 December 2016

Police arrest three women over Notre Dame plot

Dean Gray Paris

Published 09/09/2016 | 02:30

French police investigating the abandonment of a car packed with gas cylinders near Paris's Notre Dame cathedral last Saturday, arrested three women on Thursday evening, in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, some 30 km south-east of Paris. Photo: Reuters
French police investigating the abandonment of a car packed with gas cylinders near Paris's Notre Dame cathedral last Saturday, arrested three women on Thursday evening, in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, some 30 km south-east of Paris. Photo: Reuters
French policemen take part in a police raid in Boussy-Saint-Antoine near Paris. Photo: Reuters

Three women have been detained by police in France after a violent stand-off in a terrorism investigation into six gas canisters found in a car abandoned near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

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The discovery of the car has revived worries about the threat of new attacks in France, already repeatedly targeted by Isil extremists.

Seven people are now in custody in the Notre Dame case, including those with links to radical Islam.

In the operation in Boussy-Saint-Antoine last night, one of the women attacked police, and one suspect and one police officer were injured, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters.

"France is confronted with a terrorist threat of unprecedented scale," Mr Cazeneuve said. "It requires the vigilance of all our compatriots."

The Paris prosecutor's office said that police arrested a couple - a 27-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman - a day earlier in the Loiret region of France, south of Paris.

French police investigate an apartment in a residential building, during a police raid in Boussy-Saint-Antoine near Paris. Photo: Reuters
French police investigate an apartment in a residential building, during a police raid in Boussy-Saint-Antoine near Paris. Photo: Reuters

A second couple - a 34-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman - were detained in the same case on Tuesday.

Prosecutors opened a terrorist investigation after the car was found near the famous cathedral on Sunday morning.

No one was inside, but police found five canisters filled with gas in the boot and an empty canister on one of the seats. There were also three jerry cans of diesel and papers with Arabic writing inside the vehicle.

Irish Independent

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