France foils attack near Orleans: 2 held

2015-12-22 21:37
French soldier in uniform near Notre Dame in Paris. (iStock)

French soldier in uniform near Notre Dame in Paris. (iStock)

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Toulouse - A jihadist attack plot was foiled and two men arrested last week in the French region of Orleans, southwest of Paris, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Tuesday.

"A planned attack targeting representatives of state forces in the Orleans region was foiled last week by the DGSI (France's internal intelligence agency)," Cazeneuve said.

The two men arrested on December 19 are French citizens aged 20 and 24, he said. The older has a police record for petty crime.

A police source told AFP that one was originally from Morocco and the other from Togo.

They were "in contact with a French jihadist in Syria and the investigation ought to establish if he ordered the attacks that one of the two arrested men has admitted they were planning to carry out against soldiers, police and representatives of the state", said Cazeneuve.

"These arrests are the result of meticulous work by our intelligence services and bring the number of attacks foiled on the national territory since 2013 to 10," he added.

He also said that 3 414 people had been turned away from France's borders since a state of emergency was introduced in the wake of last month's Paris attacks, which left 130 people dead.

They were refused entry "due to the risk they present to security and public order", said Cazeneuve.

France took back control of its national borders on the night of the attacks on November 13, which is permitted under European rules in special circumstances.

Police also announced plans on Tuesday to hold a special recruitment drive and exams in March that will help meet the government's goal of appointing an additional 5 000 trainees in the coming year.

Read more on:    france  |  paris under attack

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