Three women arrested for planning terror attack in France

Paris: Three "radicalised and fanatical" women who allegedly planned an "imminent and violent" attack in France have been arrested, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has said.

"An anti-terrorism operation led to the arrest of three women linked to an abandoned car containing gas cylinders on Thursday," Xinhua news agency quoted Cazeneuve as saying.

The suspects aged 19, 23 and 39 were "likely preparing a violent and imminent action", he said.

A police officer was injured on the shoulder when one of the women attacked him with a knife in the southeast of Paris, the minister said.

The 19-year-old woman is known to the police for attempting to leave for Syria.

The car owner, who is on the intelligence services watchlist for radicalisation, was taken into custody earlier this week but later released due to lack of evidence.

He had gone to police on Sunday to report that his daughter had disappeared with his car, officials said.

A bar employee working near Notre Dame had first raised an alarm on Sunday after noticing a gas cylinder in the back seat of a grey Peugeot 607, the police said.

The car, with no registration plates, contained seven gas cylinders, including an empty one on the passenger seat and three cans of diesel fuel. It was found parked in a no-parking area with its hazard lights flashing.

"It may have been that they were on a test run," said a source close to the case.