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French police foil imminent armed attack on Paris churches

Police apparently foiled attacks on two churches in the city (AP)

French police have arrested a man allegedly planning to launch an armed attack on two churches in Paris, the country’s top security official has announced.

A number of news agencies have described the man as an Islamic extremist.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the man, a 24-year-old Algerian computer science student, was arrested on Sunday in Paris. He is said to have lived in France for a number of years.

The man, who had been flagged by security officials last year, was arrested after he apparently accidentally shot himself and called for an ambulance, according to AP.

In his car police found several weapons, including a Kalashnikov and a handgun, and a list of targets which featured two Paris churches. Subsequently police searched his flat where they found an arsenal of weapons, as well as jihadist literature.

The suspected Islamist is accused of murdering Aurelie Chatelain, a 32-year-old pilates instructor, after hijacking her car at random.

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