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Last Updated: Monday, 12 December 2005, 12:47 GMT
French target 'Islamic network'
French police
A new bill could give police more powers to hold suspects
Police investigating suspected plans for attacks in France have arrested at least 20 people during raids in and around Paris.

They described the arrests as a "major operation aimed at disbanding an Islamist network linked to terrorism".

Some of the suspects are believed to have been involved in crimes to help fund Islamic groups.

The raids on homes and internet cafes were ordered by French anti-terrorism magistrates.

Most of those detained were young men of Tunisian and Moroccan origin, some holding French nationality, officials told AFP.

Agents of the domestic intelligence service, the DST, raided homes around Paris before dawn. Officials said the suspects had been under surveillance for several weeks.

Anti-terror bill

Last month, French MPs backed a tough new anti-terrorism bill that would allow potential targets - including public transport, places of worship and shops - to install surveillance cameras for the first time.

It would also enable police to hold terror suspects for up to six days, from four.

The new measures still require approval from the Senate to become law.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has led efforts to bolster anti-terror laws in response to the July attacks in London which killed 52 people.

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26 Aug 05 |  Europe

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