French police swooped on suspected radical Islamists in pre-dawn raids for the second time in less than a week Wednesday, arresting 10 people, a source close to the investigation said.
The raids were carried out in the southern port city of Marseille as well as Roubaix near the Belgian border, and in several other locations in the country’s south and southwest, the source said.
They came less than a week after 19 alleged Islamists were arrested in similar anti-terrorist swoops on Friday. Prosecutors have announced that they would seek terror charges against 13 of them.
French authorities have vowed a crackdown on Islamist extremists after self-confessed Al-Qaeda follower Mohamed Merah was shot dead in a police siege following a killing spree in which he murdered seven people, including three children.
The killings shocked the nation and came just weeks before France’s hotly-contested presidential election, with security becoming a major campaign theme and President Nicolas Sarkozy closing the gap in opinion polls on his main rival, Socialist Francois Hollande.