Five arrested after ‘failed bomb attempt’ in upmarket Paris district

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Five people are in custody after an apparent failed bomb attempt in an upmarket district of Paris.

Police were alerted by a member of the public about suspicious activity in a building in the Porte d’Auteuil neighbourhood on Saturday.

Authorities later found and deactivated an explosive device.

Two gas cylinders were discovered in the hallway of the building and two others on the pavement outside.

A mobile phone attached to the cylinders was being investigated as a possible detonator, said reports.

An inquiry by counter-terrorism prosecutors is under way following the incident in the affluent 16th district.

France’s interior minister Gerard Collomb said one of those arrested was on a police terror watchlist and had been “radicalised”.

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Two women were killed in a knife attack in Marseille on Sunday

Mr Collomb said the discovery of the device showed again that France was at an “extremely high” risk of terrorist attacks.

French politicians are set to vote later on a new counter-terrorism law designed to end the country’s two-year state of emergency.

Authorities would be able to place people under house arrest, order house searches and ban public gatherings without needing the prior approval of a judge.

But human rights groups and UN experts have claimed the proposed legislation gives too much power to the state.

However Mr Collomb argued the Paris incident and a knife attack in Marseille on Sunday that left two women dead underlined the importance of tough new security laws.

French soldiers at a train station in Paris
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France is under a state of emergency following a number of terror attacks

The legislation was approved by the upper house Senate in July and is set to be backed in the lower National Assembly, where the ruling centrist Republic on the Move (LREM) party has a comfortable majority.

At least 12 planned attacks in France have been foiled since the start of the year, say officials.

The country has been under a state of emergency since the gun and bomb attacks in Paris in November 2015, which killed 130 people and left over 400 injured.

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