Petrol containers, ‘crude’ detonator found under truck in Paris – media
The truck that was found in the 19th district of the French capital reportedly belongs to the Franco-Swiss cement company Lafarge. The truck was parked on the premises of a cement plant located in the area. The device attached to as many as six petrol containers was found by some local workers.
“Workers discovered the containers as they went to work this morning,” a local source told AFP.
A bomb disposal unit was deployed to the scene and has already completed the disarming operation, the French BFM TV reports.
The media also says that the Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation over the alleged attempt to “destroy property by fire,” adding that police do not consider the incident to be an attempted terrorist attack so far.
The incident comes just two days after an explosive device was found in an apartment in the 16th district of the French capital. However, police said that these two cases are apparently unrelated.
“The detonation system found under the truck is crude,” which has nothing to do with the one found earlier, police said as cited by Le Parisien.
The discovery of an explosive device in the 16th district on Saturday resulted in a counter-terrorism investigation that led to the arrests of five people, one of whom was under government surveillance for radicalism.
France has been on high alert following a string of terrorist attacks in recent years. It particularly witnessed some of the deadliest terrorist assaults in the recent past.
A series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, 2015, claimed lives of 130 people. On Bastille Day in 2016, a truck was driven into crowds of people celebrating in Nice, killing 86 and injuring over 450. Both attacks were claimed by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
France declared a state of emergency following the November 2015 attacks in Paris. It has been extended several times; the latest extension was in July and is expected to last until November 1. However, France continues to see violent incidents and terrorism-related attacks.
As the situation in France remains tense, the French parliament approved a new controversial anti-terrorist bill on Tuesday that extends the powers of the Interior Ministry, allowing it to set up security zones without the approval of a judge.
Inside the zones, the movement of people and vehicles can be restricted and searches can be conducted. The new law also says that electronic surveillance tags could be imposed on those regarded as a threat to national security.
The new legislation was criticized by human rights groups as restrictive of certain civil liberties.