PARIS - French police have raided homes of suspected Islamists overnight across the country in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday.
French police made 23 arrests and seized weapons including assault rifles, grenades and a rocket launcher in the nationwide sweep.
Police seized 31 firearms as well as computer hard drives and telephones, while illegal drugs were found in 18 of the raids, according to Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
Shooting at Bataclan theater
Valls also said that French intelligence services had prevented several attacks since the summer and that police knew other attacks are being prepared in France as well as in the rest of Europe.
"We are making use of the legal framework of the state of emergency to question people who are part of the radical jihadist movement... and all those who advocate hate of the republic," Valls said on RTL radio.
Police sources told Reuters that authorities conducted at least 110 house searches in cities around France overnight. In addition to locations in Paris, French media reported that police also raided houses in Toulouse and Grenoble. One of the searches, in the Paris suburb of Bobigny, was part of the judicial investigation into the shocking attacks, in which at least 129 people died.
On Friday, three coordinated teams of gunmen and suicide bombers carried out the wave of attacks across Paris in what President Francois Hollande called an "act of war" by Islamic State.
Overnight, heavy air strikes believed to have been carried out by French jets hit two of Islamic State's training camps and a suspected arms depot in and around the jihadist-held city of Raqqa in Syria, a group monitoring the war said on Monday.
There were more than 30 explosions heard in the Raqqa area, said Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.