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Thu 26 Feb 2015 11:24 AM

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3 Al Jazeera journalists arrested over Paris drones

French authorities detected unmanned aircraft over five Paris landmarks including the US embassy

3 Al Jazeera journalists arrested over Paris drones
(Getty Images)

Three Al Jazeera journalists have reportedly been arrested for the alleged illegal flying of a drone over major landmarks in Paris.

The French prosecutor’s office said the three foreign nationals, aged 70, 54 and 36 were taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon after police spotted the drone flying in the Bois de Boulogne woods in western Paris.

French authorities had been investigating the flight of at least five unmanned aircraft over major Paris landmarks, including the US Embassy and the Eiffel Tower, on Tuesday night.

Some fear the drones could be spying on technology or conducting research for future attacks, Associated Press reported. They also could have weapons attached to them.

The drone flights had particularly caused anxiety because they came at a time of heightened vigilance in the French capital following the Charlie Hebdo killings.

A spokesman for the Doha-based satellite broadcaster said: “Three Al Jazeera English journalists have been held by police in Paris while filming a report on the city’s recent mystery drones. We will comment further when more information is available.”

The trio can be held for up to 24 hours under French law, according to local media. Flying drones without a license in France is illegal and carries a maximum one-year prison sentence and a €75,000 ($62,500) fine.