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Two arrested after ‘bomb factory’ discovered near Paris

Two people have been arrested after police found components that can be used to make bombs in an apartment in a Paris suburb.

Two arrested after 'bomb factory' discovered near Paris
Two men have been arrested after police found components that can be used to make explosives  in an apartment in a Paris suburb which media reports describe as a “bomb factory.”
 
Security forces rushed to the scene after a plumber working in the building in the southern suburb of Villejuif saw what he thought resembled detonators and called the police.
 
The building was evacuated and work ordered to be stopped on a building site next to the apartment block while bomb disposal experts examined the material.
 
The flat was empty at the time of the discovery of the suspect devices and the two men were arrested in a car in the nearby suburb of Le Kremlin-Bicetre, media reports said.
 
One of them was reportedly the tenant of the apartment.
France Info radio said that the flat was like a “laboratory” and contained sulphuric acid, acetone, oxygenated water – ingredients that can be used to make explosives such as the TATP favoured by jihadists – as well as electric components, batteries and basins.
 
Other media reported that gas canisters were also found.
 
Traces of TATP — known as the “mother of Satan” — were found in a house where the alleged attackers in the twin jihadist assaults in Spain last month that killed 16 people were believed to have been trying to build bombs.
 
TATP is a homemade explosive created by mixing precise quantities of acetone, oxygenated water and sulphuric, hydrochloric or nitric acid — all of which are easily available in high street stores.
 
Nail polish remover is essentially acetone, while oxygenated water is a commonly used disinfectant.
 
The mixture creates a coarse powder of white crystals that requires only a basic detonator to explode, triggering a huge blast of burning gas. 
 
The Paris prosecutor's office confirmed that “elements that may be part of the composition of explosives” were found in the flat in Villejuif.
 
Its counter-terrorism section has opened an investigation under potential charges of “criminal terrorist association” and “possession, transportation and production of explosive substances in relation with a terrorist action by an organized gang.”
 
France is still under a state of emergency after November 2015 terror attacks killed 130 people.
 
by Rory Mulholland

POLICE

Paris suburbs see third night of violence

The Parisian suburbs of Sevran, Aulnay-sous-Bois and Tremblay-en-France have seen clashes between residents and police, ever since an officer shot and killed the driver of a stolen van on Saturday.

Paris suburbs see third night of violence

Angry residents and police clashed for a third night in suburbs north of Paris, leading to 13 arrests following the fatal shooting of a father-of-four by an officer at the weekend, police said Tuesday.

Despite a heavy police presence to prevent further violence, several cars, a dozen bins and an abandoned sports centre were set alight overnight in the low-income Sevran, Aulnay-sous-Bois and Tremblay-en-France suburbs, a police source told AFP.

The unrest began Saturday after a police officer fatally shot the driver of a van that had been reported stolen and was being inspected at a traffic light in Sevran at around lunchtime.

The officer was hospitalised afterwards “in a state of shock,” local prosecutor Eric Mathais said Sunday, while internal police investigators have opened a probe into the incident.

Local people who knew the man named as Jean-Paul told AFP that he had taken a van owned by his employer who owed him wages.

They have also questioned how the officer could justify opening fire when his life was not in danger, which is the only justification for using a weapon under French law.

A protest march by the dead man’s family is expected in the next few days.

Residents in France’s multiracial suburbs often complain about heavy-handed policing methods and violence that have led to a series of scandals in recent years, including the February 2017 arrest of a black man who was allegedly sodomised with a police baton.

Police unions say officers often face hostility and attacks, and are faced with the difficult task of trying to maintain order in impoverished high-rise housing estates that in some cases are centres of drug dealing and other criminality.

The French government began a public consultation in February aimed at devising ways to increase public confidence in the police.

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