Four people arrested in Paris area for planning terror attack: French media
Philippe Desmazes (AFP)
French police arrested four people Wednesday in the greater Paris area suspected of planning imminent terror attacks, French media reported.
France's TF1 and BFMTV channels reported that three men and one woman were detained around dawn in Paris' 18th arrondissement nearby suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis to the north.
Among the arrestees were brothers Aytac and Ercan B., TF1 reports, who are French citizens of Turkish origin. However the police are particularly interested in Youssef E., an Islamist apparently already well-known to the security services, according to the report.
Saint Denis was the location of a huge police raid last November following the jihadist attacks in Paris. A suicide bomber blew himself up during the raid and had been holed up in an apartment in the northern Paris suburb with the suspected ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abelhamid Abaaoud.
The suspect gunned down in a shootout with Belgian police on Tuesday was found with an Islamic State flag, a Kalashnikov rifle and a book of extremist literature next to his body, Belgian prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Thierry Werts, a spokesman for anti-terror prosecutors, told a press conference that the man had been identified as Belcaid Mohammed, an Algerian national who was was illegally in Belgium.
Belgian police are still hunting for two fugitives following the deadly shootout in Brussels during an anti-terror search linked to the Paris attacks.
"Two people who were in the (raided apartment) were able to flee," Werts said.
Police shot dead one suspect on Tuesday during the operation, after gunmen opened fire and wounded four officers.
A French policewoman was among those wounded, Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens said.
"It appears the French policewoman who was slightly wounded was here as part of a joint investigation team set up by Belgian and French prosecutors," Geens told a press conference after a dramatic day which saw one suspect shot dead.
Officials said earlier that four police had been hurt in the operation and it was not immediately clear if that included the French officer.
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