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French police detain 9 terror suspects

Interior Minister Manuel Valls of France urged police vigilance.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls of France urged police vigilance.

PARIS — French authorities have detained nine people in antiterrorist raids this week, including people suspected of plotting attacks in France or of belonging to jihadi networks, officials said Tuesday.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls urged police to keep up the pressure in particular on groups preparing fighters to join extremist militants in Syria or to join Al Qaeda. ‘‘We will leave no space for these groups,’’ he told reporters.

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France has been on higher alert for potential attacks since French troops entered Mali this year to push out Al Qaeda-linked extremists who had seized much of the West African country and have threatened France and Europe.

Several French citizens have also gone to Syria to fight alongside extremist groups battling President Bashar Assad’s regime. That is complicating the French government’s efforts to aid — and possibly arm — the more mainstream Syrian opposition.

Police detained six people in the Paris region Monday who were suspected of plotting terrorist attacks in France, the Paris prosecutor’s office said.

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