French say imminent "terror attack" thwarted

French soldiers, policemen and firefighter vehicles are seen at the site of a police search at the home of one of the two men arrested, as they were suspected of preparing an attack just days ahead of the first round of France’s presidential vote on April 18, 2017 in the third district of Marseille.

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PARIS -- French police thwarted an imminent “terror attack,” arresting two suspected radicals Tuesday in the southern port city of Marseille, the interior minister said just days before the first round of France’s presidential election.

The two men “intended to commit an attack on French soil in the very short term, which is to say in coming days,” Interior Minister Matthias Fekl said at a brief news conference.

France votes Sunday in the first round of its two-stage election, with security ramped up for the ballot after a series of attacks in recent years that have made security one of the major issues of the campaign.

The men, both French, one born in 1987 and the other in 1993, are “suspected of wanting to commit, in an imminent way, a violent action on the eve of the French presidential election,” the minister said.

He gave no details about potential targets or motives.

Agents from the French internal security agency, backed by elite police units, conducted the arrests. Searches are also underway, Fekl said.