German police on Tuesday arrested five people from Aachen in an operation linked to the militant attacks last Friday in Paris that killed 129 people.
A special police response unit overpowered two women and one man outside a job centre in Alsdorf, a small town near Aachen close to Germany’s border with Belgium and the Netherlands.
“After the terror attacks last Friday in Paris and the search for the perpetrators and the people pulling the strings, police in Aachen got a lead to suspicious individuals in Alsdorf,” a police statement said.
A spokesperson said the three were foreign citizens but declined to elaborate on their identity pending investigations.
Later on Tuesday, police arrested two more people in Alsdorf, the statement said, giving no details.
A manhunt is on in France and Belgium for one of the eight attackers involved in shooting and bomb attacks on restaurants, a music hall and a sports stadium in Paris on Friday evening.
European search efforts are focusing on Belgian-born Frenchman Salah Abdeslam, 23, who investigators say escaped back to Belgium on Saturday after the attacks.
Austria’s interior ministry said earlier he had entered the country from Germany in early September, telling authorities he was on holiday.
France and Russia both staged air strikes on Islamic State targets in northern Syria on Tuesday as Paris formally requested European Union assistance in its fight against the group behind the carnage in Paris.