France arrests nine in anti-terror sweep

Police detain nine people with guns and ammunition near the southern port city of Marseilles and nearby Avignon

In an anti-terror sweep across Southern France yesterday morning, police arrested nine people with guns and ammunition near the southern port city of Marseilles and nearby Avignon.


The suspected Islamic terroristshad enough weapons to launch a ‘Mumbai-style attack’ anywhere in Europe, it was reported.


Another three men, linked to a man of Algerian origin caught in Italy with a bomb-making kit, were arrested near Marseille and Bordeaux. The three are suspected of supplying false papers for militants trying to return to France after training in Afghanistan. Officials said the two security operations were not linked.

The arrests come as Britain, the United States, Japan and Sweden publicly warned their citizens of possible terrorist attacks in Europe. 

French interior minister Brice Hortefeux said: ‘On such a sensitive, difficult issue, the government is naturally working hand in hand with our partners, our allies and even further afield.’

Britain’s security agency MI5 has upped the threat level from international terrorism in Britain to severe, indicating that a terrorist attack is highly likely. The government advised caution in public places, public transport and tourist attractions.


Security officials in Europe and the United States have discussed the possibility of armed attackers staging a repeat in Europe of the 2008 assault against Mumbai, India that left 166 dead and scores wounded.

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