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France vigilant due to risk of terrorism, five arrests reported

Paris, Dec 23 (Prensa Latina) Five people were arrested in northern France on Friday as part of an investigation into a criminal terrorist conspiracy, the national anti-terrorist prosecutor's office said.

A source close to the case confirmed to AFP that they had been taken into police custody, but gave no further details of their suspected crimes. The arrests took place in Nancy and two other towns in the Meurthe-et-Moselle department of northern France, the source said.

The suspects, picked up by the intelligence services, belong to an Islamist movement, according to another source.

On Friday, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin called on local authorities to “maintain extreme vigilance” over the Christmas and Epiphany festivities, due to the “very high level of terrorist threat that continues to exist”.

In October, France activated its highest level of emergency alert following the murder of Dominique Bernard, a French teacher stabbed to death by a radicalised former pupil in northern france.

The activation of the emergency level is also in place in the international context of the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.