French police arrested four people suspected of plotting a bomb attack in a building which is located in southern Montpellier city on February 10, 2017.
French police arrested four people suspected of plotting a bomb attack in a building which is located in southern Montpellier city on February 10, 2017.

Anti-terrorism forces arrested four, including a 16-year-old girl, on suspicion of plotting a terrorist attack in the country, the interior ministry said on Friday.

Police raided the residence of a 20-year-old man in the southern French city of Montpellier and uncovered a makeshift laboratory filled with ingredients for making homemade explosives.

"The initial indications are that an imminent attack on French soil has been thwarted," Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux said in a statement.

The arrest came as the suspects were buying acetone to use in the making of triacetone triperoxide (TATP), a highly-explosive homemade device. TATP was previously used in the November 2015 attack in Paris and the March 2016 attack in Brussels.

The owner of the house was arrested along with three others — a 33-year-old man, a 26-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl — according to the prosecutor's office.

France has remained under a state of emergency since November 2015 after a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris. More than 230 people have been killed in such incidents in the country since the beginning of 2015.

The French government said it prevented 17 attacks in 2016.

Peter Humi joins TRT World to give more details about the arrest.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies