Paris: The French police have detained three people, including a soldier, in southern France as part of a probe into last year`s deadly terror attacks in Toulouse that targeted Jews and paratroopers, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
They were detained about 10 days after President Francois Hollande, speaking in Toulouse, said France is tightening its intelligence-gathering to prevent further terror attacks like those committed by Mohamed Merah, who police say killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers last March. Merah was later killed in a shootout with police.
Two people in their early 20s were arrested on Tuesday in Toulouse, one in the gritty Les Izards neighbourhood where Merah, a radical Muslim, spent part of his childhood. A third person, a soldier on active duty, was arrested today morning in the nearby town of Castres, prosecutors` spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre said. A paratrooper regiment is based in Castres.
She described all three as being close to Merah, but said investigators want to know exactly what those relationships were, and whether any of the three could have had a role in preparing the attacks.
In France, authorities have four days to question a suspect before either filing preliminary charges or letting the person go.