Rocket launcher among weapons seized in raids on suspected Islamists

Armed police are deployed in Place de la Republique during a false alarm incident
Armed police are deployed in Place de la Republique during a false alarm incident

French police have carried out "more than 150" raids on suspected Islamists since the attacks on Paris, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Monday, as a source in the southeastern city of Lyon said an arsenal of weapons had been seized there.

Police sources in Paris said "several dozen" pre-dawn raids were carried out in French cities on Monday, including in Bobigny, an eastern suburb of the capital.

Thirteen raids were carried out around the southeastern French city of Lyon, a local police source said.

They led to five arrests and the seizure of "an arsenal of weapons," including a rocket launcher, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, bulletproof vests, handguns and combat gear, the source said.

Police also carried out raids in Toulouse in southwestern France, where at least three people were arrested, according to the local prosecutor's office.

In the Alpine city of Grenoble, according to the local newspaper Le Dauphine Libere, at least half a dozen people were arrested and guns and money were seized.

Police have additional powers under a state of emergency declared after the coordinated attacks in Paris on Friday that left 129 people dead and more than 350 injured.

Meanwhile France launched air strikes against Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria, and French media reported a series of new arrests of suspects across the country.

France said it launched "massive" air strikes on the IS group's de-facto capital, destroying a jihadi training camp and a munitions dump in the city of Raqqa, where Iraqi intelligence officials say the attacks on Paris were planned.

Twelve aircraft, including 10 fighter jets, dropped a total of 20 bombs in the biggest air strikes since France extended its bombing campaign against the extremist group to Syria in September, the defence ministry said.

The jets launched from sites in Jordan and the Persian Gulf, in co-ordination with US forces.