AFP, AP and Reuters
© Thomas, Samson, AFP | Archival picture shows a French police unit in Garges-lès-Gonesse, near Paris, on March 18, 2017.Two men were arrested on Tuesday in Marseille, southern France, on suspicion of planning an attack during presidential elections which open on Sunday, according to the French interior minister.
The two men “intended to commit an attack on French soil in the very short term, which is to say in the coming days”, Interior Minister Matthias Fekl said at a brief news conference.
France votes Sunday in the first round of its two-stage election, with security ramped up for the ballot after a series of attacks in recent years that have made security one of the major issues of the campaign.
The men, both French, one born in 1987 and the other in 1993, are “suspected of wanting to commit, in an imminent way, a violent action on the eve of the French presidential election”, the minister said.
He gave no details about potential targets or motives.
Agents from the French internal security agency, backed by elite police units, conducted the arrests.
France has been under a state of emergency, which has been extended several times, in the face of Islamist militant attacks in Paris and other parts of the country in which more than 230 people have been killed.
(FRANCE 24 with AP and REUTERS)