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Paris terror suspects were planning suicide attack, minister says

From Niki Cook, CNN
  • NEW: They are all French nationals of Algerian origin
  • Five people were arrested this week
  • One was "prepared to die," Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux says

Paris, France (CNN) -- Five terror suspects arrested in France this week are suspected of planning a suicide attack, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said Wednesday.

They were planning a strike in Paris, and one was "prepared to die," he said.

They were arrested on Monday and Tuesday, the ministry said.

They are all French nationals of Algerian origin, according to the ministry.

France had arrested 85 people on suspicion of links to terrorism this year, Hortefeux told France 2 television last Thursday, before the arrests this week. Some 27 of them are still in prison, he said.

France is at its second-highest level of terror alert. The Eiffel Tower has been evacuated twice due to bomb threats this fall, but no explosives were found.