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Anti-terrorism police in France have detained a 16-year-old boy following a statement on social media expressing his desire to "die a martyr" at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the police stated that the boy was apprehended after he "publicly declared on social media his intention to fabricate an explosive belt with the aim of becoming a martyr." According to BFMTV, the teenager was apprehended at his parents' residence on Tuesday following the purported posts on Telegram the previous day.

The French outlet also stated that during a search of the teenager's residence in Haute-Savoie, southeastern France, handwritten documents were discovered in which he expressed support for the Islamic State. The spokesperson mentioned that an investigation was ongoing to determine if he genuinely intended to carry out a terrorist act.

This development follows French President Emmanuel Macron's acknowledgment that the Olympics' opening ceremony might be downsized if the security risk is assessed as too significant. Against the backdrop of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, France previously elevated its security alert to its highest level.

Macron has ramped up the security around the French capital ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics. GETTY IMAGES
Macron has ramped up the security around the French capital ahead of the Paris 2024 Olympics. GETTY IMAGES

According to Reuters, the government also requested assistance from 45 foreign nations to deploy several thousand additional military, police, and civilian personnel to ensure the security of the games. Earlier this month, Mr Macron expressed confidence that the opening ceremony, scheduled to occur on the River Seine, would proceed as planned. However, he noted that France had contingency plans, including backups and alternatives, in place just in case.

This response was prompted by apprehensions regarding potential security risks to the Games. The Paris 2024 Olympics get underway from 26 July to 11 August, with the flame open to all on 14 July.

The event scheduled for 26 July is poised to be the inaugural Olympic opening ceremony conducted outside of a stadium setting. Approximately 10,500 athletes will participate in a parade through the heart of the French capital aboard around 160 boats along a 6 km route on the Seine.

However, Mr Macron indicated that if challenges were to emerge, the ceremony could be confined to the central Paris Trocadero square, with a view of the Eiffel Tower. An alternative possibility would involve relocating the event indoors, to the Stade de France.