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France places two under formal investigation for planning attack

PARIS French judges have placed two people under formal investigation and detained them on suspicion of wanting to travel to Syria or planning attacks in France, a judicial source said on Saturday.

They were arrested last Tuesday along with a third person by French intelligence agents in the towns of Clermont-Ferrand and Marseille, and in the Paris region.

The two are facing charges of criminal conspiracy to commit a terrorist act, and possession of weapons, the judicial source said. The third person was released.

The source said there was a possible link between the two and those arrested in a separate raid on Feb. 10 in the town of Montpellier on suspicion of planning an imminent attack in France.

France is under heightened alert since January 2015 following a spate of attacks by Islamist militants that has killed about 230 people.

(Reporting by Chine Labbé; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

-Reuters