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Terror charges for suspected accomplices in French election plot

Three men suspected of supplying guns for an attack plot thwarted ahead of the first round of France's presidential election have been charged with terror offences.

Published: 29th April 2017 02:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2017 02:41 PM   |  A+A-

French expats wait in line to vote | File- AP

By AFP

PARIS: Three men suspected of supplying guns for an attack plot thwarted ahead of the first round of France's presidential election have been charged with terror offences, a judicial source said. 

The foiled plan in the southern city of Marseille had sparked fears that the closing days of the campaign could be a target for extremists before the April 23 first round in the country's most unpredictable election in decades.

The three men -- a 24-year-old Chechen refugee, as well as Kosovar brothers aged 19 and 35 -- were accused on Friday of participating in a terrorist conspiracy as well as weapons charges, the source said.  

Authorities believe they provided help to the alleged attack plotters, 23-year-old Clement Baur and Mahiedine Merabet, 29, notably by supplying weapons.  

After searching the suspected plotters' shared Marseille apartment, authorities said they uncovered an Uzi sub-machine gun, pistols, three kilogrammes (6.5 pounds) of TATP explosives and a homemade grenade as well as an Islamic State (IS) group flag.

Baur and Merabet were charged Sunday with participating in a terrorist conspiracy, though authorities have not determined what the alleged plotters planned to target.

Two days after their April 18 arrests, 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi shot dead a policeman on Paris's Champs Elysees avenue before being killed by police gunfire.

A note praising IS was found near his body.

More than 230 people have been killed in a string of jihadist attacks in France since January 2015.



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