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Al Jazeera Journalists Arrested in Connection With Drones Over Paris

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Three Al Jazeera journalists were arrested Wednesday in Paris, authorities told NBC News.

They were reportedly being accused of flying a drone over Paris, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor's office told The Associated Press.

But Al Jazeera later said on Twitter that the three "have been held by police in Paris while filming a report on the city's recent mystery drones."

The arrests may or may not provide answers to a spate of unidentified drones spotted over city landmarks, unnerving the city at a time of high security over terror concerns.

The journalists, all foreign nationals, are aged 70, 54 and 36, the AP reported. They were taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after police spotted a drone flying in the Bois de Boulogne woods in western Paris, Paris prosecutors' spokeswoman Agnes Thibault-Lecuivre told the AP. She said it was unclear what the trio were trying to accomplish.

Flying drones without a license in France is illegal and carries a maximum one-year prison sentence and a 75,000 euros ($85,000) fine. Drones are banned over Paris.

The arrests were announced hours after police sighted one or more drones in five instances flying in the Paris sky in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. Several others were spotted around the city Monday.

Among the landmarks buzzed by the drones were the Gare de l'Est train station, the Paris Opera, the Tuileries gardens, the Eiffel Tower and Montparnasse Tower, Thibault-Lecuivre said.

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— Barbara Grey with reporting from The Associated Press

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