The number of suspects that were detained in the counterterror operation in France’s Parisian region (Ile-de-France) as well as the southern departments of Bouches-du-Rhone and Alpes-Maritimes on Tuesday has risen to nine, according to the BFMTV channel, citing its sources.
According to the prosecutor's office, Switzerland has arrested two people in the framework of an anti-terror raid launched by French police.
Media reports have suggested that the detained people were allegedly suspected of preparing a terrorist attack in one of the cities in the south of the country, which is home to the French Riviera popular with tourists.
There have been no details provided by officials confirming the reason for the operation in France, which came a week following the adoption of a tougher security legislation, replacing the emergency situation that had been in place for years.
According to French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb, while the terrorist threat in France "remains serious," the law is aiming to "strenghten internal security and fight against terrorism."
France has been in a state of emergency since November 2015 following terror attacks claimed by the Daesh terrorist group in Paris and Saint-Denis that left 130 people dead. Since then, the country has been targeted by 20 terror attacks — the deadliest one claiming over 80 lives in Nice in 2016 — and numerous attacks on members of the police and the military.
The anti-terror legislation is one of the bills initiated by President Emmanuel Macron in the wake of these terror attacks. The bill incorporates some elements of the state of emergency, which has been prolonged six times since 2015 and has prompted severe criticism from politicians and the general public.
In the meantime, the bill has also faced criticism over outlining possibilities for compromising citizen's civil liberties. Namely, the legislation stipulates the strengthening of administrative authority, which will simplify the issuance of search warrants, and will also allow the temporary closures of places of religious worship where propaganda of hatred and violence is conducted.