French police detain five female suspects on terrorism charge: media report

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PARIS, April 5 (Xinhua) -- French police have detained five women from the same family at the weekend in southern France on charges of planning a terrorist attack, a local media reported on Monday.

Citing a source close to the operation, state-run Franceinfo radio reported that the anti-terrorist police arrested an 18-year-old woman, her mother and three sisters on Saturday night as part of a probe into "terrorist criminal association" and "possession and manufacture of explosives in connection with a terrorist enterprise."

The young suspect was spotted after posting messages on social media suggesting that she would act during the Easter holidays, according to the report.

Investigators believed she had planned to attack a church in Montpellier in southern France. They found in the suspects' home chemicals that were frequently used by Jihadists to manufacture homemade explosive devices, in addition to firing device from a cell phone and a Japanese sword, the Franceinfo said.

All the detainees had no criminal background and were not known to intelligence, it added.

France has become a major target of terrorist attacks following its military operations in Iraq, Syria and the Sahel region in Africa.

On Nov. 13, 2015, 130 people were killed and more than 400 injured in a series of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris and the city's northern suburb.

In October 2017, President Emmanuel Macron signed an anti-terrorism law, giving police more power to search and arrest suspects without requiring judges' approval in order to boost the country's response to terror risks at home. Enditem

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