World

Anti-terrorism police hold five over wired explosives found in posh Paris district

PARIS French counter-terrorism investigators questioned five people yesterday after police over the weekend found what appeared to be a ready-to-detonate bomb at an apartment building near Paris Saint-Germain Football Club.

The device, consisting of four gas cylinders covered in petrol, was found in the upmarket 16th arrondissement near the Parc des Princes Stadium on Saturday, just hours before PSG's league game with Bordeaux, the Daily Mail reported.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said one of those arrested was on an intelligence services list of "radicalised" persons - a list that includes the names of potential Islamist militants.

"We are still in a state of war," Mr Collomb, speaking after a Sunday attack in which a knifeman killed two women in Marseille, told France Inter radio.

Judicial sources said the explosive device included two gas canisters inside the building in the affluent 16th district of western Paris and two outside, some of them doused with petrol and wired to connect to a mobile phone.

It was unclear why the device was planted at the location where it was found as there was no obvious target living there, the judicial sources said.

More than 230 people have been killed in France in attacks by Islamist militants over the past three years. The Islamic State militant group, whose bases in Syria and Iraq are being bombed by French war planes, has urged followers to attack France.

Most of those killed died in attacks by Islamist gunmen and suicide bombers in Paris in 2015 and when a man drove a large truck into crowds in the Riviera resort of Nice in 2016. - REUTERS

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