France arrests three people after coffins found at Eiffel Tower

PARIS (Reuters) - French police arrested three people on Monday after five empty coffins wrapped in French flags with the words "French soldiers from Ukraine" written on them were found near the Eiffel Tower on Saturday.

The public prosecutors have requested that the three individuals, who are from Bulgaria, Germany and Ukraine and who are all under 30 years old, be charged with premeditated violence.

Prosecutors said leaving coffins at the foot of the Eiffel Tower was an act of psychological violence.

France could soon send military trainers to Ukraine despite the concerns of some allies and criticism by Russia, diplomatic sources told Reuters last week.

French daily Le Monde, quoting security documents, reported that the three men had been in contact with a man suspected of having sprayed red hands on the Paris Shoah Memorial, a Holocaust museum, in mid-May.

In November, French prosecutors opened an investigation into whether two Moldovans who admitted to daubing Stars of David on the walls of Parisian properties did so at the behest of someone abroad.

Following news reports about the Moldovans being directed by an individual in Russia, the prosecutor's office said that someone from abroad had communicated via telephone with the pair in Russian.

(Reporting by Juliette Jabkhiro, writing by Marine Strauss, editing by GV De Clercq and Ros Russell)