A FRENCH policeman has been stabbed during an operation to arrest three women in connection with a car found packed with gas canisters close to Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

As they were seized in the Paris suburb of Boussy-Saint-Antoine on Thursday, one of the three suspects stabbed an officer, who then shot her, according to reports. The woman was hospitalised, while the other two suspects are in custody.

Paris police announced on Wednesday that they had found a Peugeot 607 filled with seven gas canisters, six of them full, close to Notre Dame late on Saturday night. The car had been abandoned in a no parking zone with its hazard lights on, and without its registration plates. No detonator device was found with the canisters, but the discovery nonetheless raised fears of a terror plot.

According to the Paris prosecutor's office, the car's owner reported his vehicle missing to police, telling them that his 19-year-old daughter had also disappeared. The teenager was known to the French authorities for wanting to travel to Syria to join Isis after having been radicalised.

On Tuesday counter-terror police arrested a 34-year-old man and 29-year-old woman in connection with the suspected plot, near to the southern French city of Orange. The couple were thought to be attempting to flee to Spain. The women seized on Thursday in Boussy-Saint-Antoine are reportedly aged 19, 23 and 39.

France remains under a state of emergency following a spate of terror attacks in recent months. Isis has previously named Notre Dame on a list of western terror targets.

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