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France thwarted a new terror attack amid plans to build a barrier around the Eiffel Tower

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Anti-terrorism forces arrested four people Friday in southern France, including a 16-year-old girl, and uncovered a makeshift laboratory with the explosive TATP and other ingredients for fabricating a bomb. France’s top security official said the raid thwarted an “imminent attack.”

A police official said the teen had pledged loyalty to the Islamic State group in a recent video.


More on the arrests

The prosecutor’s office said around 70 grams (2.5 ounces) of TATP were seized in the Montpellier-area home of a 20-year-old man, along with a liter each of acetone, oxygenated water and sulfuric acid. TATP, which can be made from readily available materials, was used in the deadly November 2015 attacks in Paris and the March 2016 attack in Brussels carried out by Islamic State extremists.

The country’s prime minister praised the work of anti-terror investigators.

“Faced with the heightened threat, there has been an extremely strong mobilization of our intelligence services to ensure the French are protected to the utmost,” said Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

France is still under a state of emergency after several deadly attacks in 2015 and 2016.

Earlier this month,  a man lunged toward a group of French soldiers outside of the Louvre museum with a machete, injuring one of the soldiers. 

Friday's attack comes less than 24 hours after Paris' deputy mayor Jean-François Martins at a press conference, announced that the city plans to spend 20 million euros ($22 million) to build a permanent protective barrier around the Eiffel Tower to limit terrorism, according to Bloomberg.

“Sadly, the risk of terrorism hasn’t gone away,” deputy mayor Jean-François Martins said at a Paris press conference. “It’s not a wall, it’s an aesthetic perimeter.” The 200 by 300 meter barrier would be able to stop bullets and vehicles, he said. 

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--The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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