France's top security official says police have arrested an Islamic extremist in Paris as he was planning an imminent attack on one or more churches.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the man is also accused of killing a young woman shortly before he was arrested on Sunday.

The 24-year-old computer science student had lived in France for several years and had been flagged by security officials last year.

A French security official says the suspect was arrested after he apparently had shot himself and called for an ambulance.