France arrests 16-year-old after he said he wanted to die a 'martyr' at Olympics, spokesperson says

PARIS (Reuters) - French anti-terrorism authorities have arrested a 16-year-old youth after he said on social media that he wanted to die a martyr at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer, a spokesperson said on Wednesday, confirming an earlier report by BFMtv.

"He was arrested after he publicly announced on social media that he planned to create an explosive belt to become a martyr," she said, adding that an investigation was underway into whether he had genuine intentions to commit a terrorist act.

Conflict in the Middle East and Ukraine as well as a threat of Islamist militant attacks have led France, which is hosting the Olympics this summer, to raise its security alert to its highest level.

The French government has asked about 45 foreign countries to contribute several thousand extra military, police and civilian personnel to help safeguard the Paris Olympics this summer, sources told Reuters last month.

(Reporting by Charlotte Van Campenhout; editing by Mark Heinrich)

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