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Ukrainian-Russian citizen arrested after explosion at hotel in France

PARIS — A Ukrainian and Russian citizen was arrested after suffering “significant burns following an explosion” at a hotel in Val d’Oise, France, Monday evening, according to French officials.

Several U.S. officials briefed on the matter said authorities were investigating whether the arrested person was trying to carry out an act of pro-Russian sabotage against a French facility that supported Ukraine’s war efforts.

A source from the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office, which announced the arrest of the 26-year-old young man, indicated that its investigation had led to the discovery of materials used to make explosive devices and that one of these devices had exploded. No other injuries were reported.

An anti-terrorism investigation opened Tuesday led to several terrorism-related charges. The person has not been formally charged.

The office said it was “too early to tell” whether the case was linked to the Russian sabotage campaign and pattern.

U.S. officials said the device that exploded contained the homemade explosive compound TATP, which has been used in some terrorist attacks over the past three decades.

The incident could be one of several recently documented examples of pro-Russian sabotage across Europe, according to U.S. officials.

The US Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment on the matter.

U.S. and European officials say Russia is waging a sabotage campaign across Europe as part of an increasingly aggressive effort by President Vladimir Putin to undermine Western support for Ukraine, seeking to damage railways, military bases and other sites used to supply weapons to Kiev.

The incidents include an alleged Russian-backed arson attack on a Ukraine-linked warehouse in the UK, a plot to bomb or burn military bases in Germany, attempted hacking and disruption of the rail signaling network European and jamming of GPS systems for civil aviation, according to European and British authorities.

In a statement following NBC News’ reporting on the sabotage campaign, Russia’s foreign intelligence service said that “such attacks are always of a purely tendentious, politically opportunistic nature and do not contain any arguments or evidence other than the famous ” very probable “. ”

“The Russian Federation systematically complies with the norms of international law and not the “rules” promoted by the collective West to meet its own hegemonic aspirations. As a matter of principle, we do not intervene in the sovereign affairs of foreign states,” the statement said. » declared the Russian agency.

President Joe Biden is in France this week to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day and will be honored by his French counterpart with a state visit on Saturday, including a military parade.

Security has been stepped up in the country as it prepares to host the Olympics in late July. Russia was banned from the Paris Games due to the war in Ukraine and launched a covert influence campaign aimed at scaring people away from the Games, according to a report.

Nancy Ing reported from Paris, Jonathan Dienst and Tom Winter from New York and Dan De Luce from Washington.

News Source : www.nbcnews.com
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