French Police Foil 'Imminent' Attack On Churches, Officials Say

PARIS, April 22 (Reuters) - French police are holding a heavily armed man they suspected of planning an imminent armed attack on one or two churches in France, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Wednesday.

The man, a 24-year-old information technology student, was arrested on Sunday in the southeastern 13th arrondissement of Paris. A car was also seized along with handguns, other weapons and bulletproof vests, Cazeneuve said. An Interior Ministry source said the man was an Algerian national.

"Detailed documents that were also found established beyond doubt that the individual was planning an imminent attack, probably on one or two churches," Cazeneuve said.

France heightened surveillance of potential attackers by its intelligence services and has boosted to about 10,000 the number of troops patrolling sensitive sites after Islamist militants killed 17 people in January in attacks on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly and a Jewish food shop.

The arrest happened after the man called emergency services to treat a wound, interior ministry sources said. When they arrived, they saw the injury was a gunshot wound and notified police. (Reporting by Antony Paone; Mark John, Jean-Baptiste Vey and Brian Love; editing by Ingrid Melander)



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