French police have foiled an attack targeting police and army personnel in the central city of Orléans, said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Tuesday. Two men have been arrested.
"A planned attack targeting representatives of state forces in the Orléans region was foiled last week by the DGSI (France's internal intelligence agency)," Cazeneuve said, adding that the two men had been arrested on December 19.
The two Frenchmen, aged 20 and 24, were being held for questioning, Cazeneuve said. Both were believed to have been in contact with another Frenchman, currently thought to be in Syria, who was suspected of organising the plot.
The 20-year-old was unknown to the police, while the 24-year-old was known to the police for committing acts of delinquency, Cazeneuve added.
Police sources in Paris told the AFP that the two detained men were French nationals, including one of Moroccan and one of Togolese origins.
Cazeneuve said 10 attacks had been prevented this year in France, which suffered its worst atrocity for decades last month when Islamist militants killed 130 people in Paris.
France has been under a state of emergency that was approved by the National Assembly shortly after the November 13 attacks.
Speaking to police officials and gendarmes at the Toulouse police headquarters Tuesday, Cazeneuve said 3,414 people had been turned back at France’s borders since the Paris attacks due to security concerns.