Police found explosives in a Paris department store after a written tip to AFP (Agence France-Press) from a group demanding the withdrawal of French troops from Afghanistan. The group called itself the Afghan Revolutionary Front; they were not previously known to French security services and did not mention Islam. The five explosives were not primed and police said there was no danger of detonation in the busy Printemps department store in downtown Paris. President Sarkozy urged caution, but said that he would not negotiate, adding “I would call on everyone to be very prudent and very measured.”

France has more than 2,800 troops stationed in Afghanistan fighting Taliban forces. Most agree that the goal was to frighten people and not to cause actual explosions. The explosives themselves, explained French Interior Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie, were similar to those commonly found on construction sites. Alliot-Marie added that the government had deployed hundreds of additional police officers to the streets of Paris and had stepped up security checks at train stations and in large shops.

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