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France arrests soldier over mosque attack plan

August 12, 2013
File photo/AP
File photo/AP

PARIS: French police have arrested a young soldier on suspicion of planning to fire shots at a mosque near the eastern city of Lyon, the interior ministry said Sunday.

The 23-year-old man, who investigators say is “close to the radical far-right”, was detained at his airbase near Lyon.

He was remanded in custody on Wednesday and charged with the possession of ammunition and plans to damage a place of worship “in connection with a terrorist enterprise”.

Judicial officials said he told investigators that he planned to fire the shots at the Minguettes mosque at Venissieux, a Lyon suburb, on Thursday at the end of the month of Ramazan.

He also admitted to throwing an incendiary device at a mosque door in southwestern Libourne in August last year. No one was hurt in that incident which did not cause any damage.

Relatives had contacted the police after finding suspicious documents in his possession.