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Woman in foiled Paris attacks 'betrothed' to killers of police, priest

French policemen take part in a police raid in Boussy-Saint-Antoine near Paris, France, September 8, 2016. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - One of three women arrested over a failed Islamist attack in Paris had been “promised as a bride” to two men behind attacks on police officers and a priest earlier this year, the Paris prosecutor said on Friday.

The revelations highlight the close links between members of radical Islamist circles in France, even though they might live in different parts of the country.

Sarah H, a 23-year-old Frenchwoman, was taken into custody on Thursday along with the other two women after police launched a manhunt to find them, believing they were planning an imminent attack on the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris.

The three women were being tracked after a car loaded with gas cylinders was found near Notre Dame cathedral at the weekend. Sarah H allegedly stabbed a police officer when she was arrested; another of the women was shot and wounded. Neither the police officer nor the woman shot was seriously injured.

Sarah H “is known to intelligence services as being particularly linked to Islamist movements,” the prosecutor, Francois Molins, said. “She was previously betrothed to Larossi Abballa, the man responsible for the attack in Magnanville, and Adel Kermiche, who was behind the attack in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.”

Abballa was killed by security services after murdering a police commander and his partner in June in Magnanville, an attack claimed by Islamic State. Kermiche and Abdel-Malik Nabir Petitjean were killed in July after slitting the throat of a French priest in a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in the name of the group.

The three women were determined to carry out Islamic State’s “deadly ideology”, Molins said, and had been given direction by members of the militant group in Syria.

Another man, Mohamed Lamine A, who was due to marry Sarah H, was also arrested on Thursday. That man was also connected to the Abballa attack, according to Molins, who identified him as the brother of a friend of the police killer.

Reporting By John Irish, editing by Larry King