Three women planning 'imminent' attacks arrested in France: minister

Updated: 2016-09-09 09:22


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Three women planning 'imminent' attacks arrested in France: minister

French policemen take part in a police raid in Boussy-Saint-Antoine near Paris, France, September 8, 2016. 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/Agencies]

PARIS -- French police arrested three "radicalized and fanatical" women in southeast Paris Thursday evening for their alledged connection with an abandoned car in central Paris that contained several gas cylinders.

The women were arrested during an anti-terrorism operation, said French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

The suspects, respectively aged 19, 23 and 39, were "likely preparing violent and imminent attacks," he added.

A police officer and one of the women were wounded during the police operation, the minister said, without elaborating.

According to media reports, the injured woman is the daughter of the car owner. She stabbed a police officer before being shot by anti-terrorism units.

The 19-year-old woman is know to police for attempting to leave to Syria.

On Sunday, a Peugeot 607 contained seven gas cylinders, including an empty one on the front passenger seat, in addition to three cans of diesel fuel. Without registration plates, the vehicle was found near the Notre-Dame cathedral in central Paris with its hazard lights flashing.

Anti-terrorism units did not discover detonators in the car while they found documents written in Arabic language.

On Tuesday, police arrested a 34-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman on a motorway in southern France.

The man, the car owner, has been placed on the intelligence services' watchlist for radicalization. He was later released, according to local media reports.

Another couple aged 26 and 27 were arrested late on Wednesday and placed into custody.

France has been on high alert after a series of attacks in France in November last year and July.

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