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Two arrested after potential car bomb found near Notre Dame cathedral in Paris

No detonators were found, police said.

French soldiers patrol near Notre Dame cathedral in Paris last November.
French soldiers patrol near Notre Dame cathedral in Paris last November.
Image: Peter Dejong

FRENCH POLICE ARE holding two suspects after gas cylinders were found in a car near Paris’s famous Notre Dame cathedral, sources close to the investigation said.

The Peugeot 607 was discovered abandoned, with headlights flashing, at the weekend in part of the city which is thronged with tourists, the sources said.

Anti-terror investigators have launched a probe and the car’s owner and another person, who are both known to security services, were arrested on Tuesday.

France remains on high alert for terror attacks. In November last year, suicide bombers and gunmen killed 130 people in Paris in coordinated attacks claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group.

A bar employee working near the cathedral raised the alert on Sunday after noticing a gas cylinder on the back seat of the car, which had no number plates, a police source said.

That cylinder was found to be empty but five full cylinders were found in the boot of the car.

No detonators were found, police said.

Photographs of the metallic silver-coloured car after it was discovered showed its boot open and the gas canisters placed on the ground in a quiet side street opposite the cathedral.

A notebook containing writing in Arabic was also found in the car, according to the mayor of the district of Paris where the vehicle was found.

‘Parked for two hours’

Travel Stock - Paris Source: Andrew Matthews

Mayor Florence Berthout made the claim in a letter to Paris police chief Michel Cadot, that AFP has seen.

Berthout protested that the car was able to remain “illegally parked for over two hours, despite several telephone calls to police headquarters”.

The car’s owner was identified yesterday.

- © AFP, 2016

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