France Vows to Destroy IS


France is committed to “destroying” the so-called Islamic State group after Friday’s deadly attacks, President Francois Hollande has said. He said he would table a bill to extend the state of emergency declared after the attacks for three months and would suggest changes to the constitution. France’s military campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria will also intensify.

IS says it carried out the attacks on bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a stadium in which 129 people died.

Speaking during a joint session of both houses of parliament, Mr Hollande said the constitution needed to be amended as “we need an appropriate tool we can use without having to resort to the state of emergency”. Mr Hollande said he would meet US President Barack Obama and Russian Vladimir Putin in the coming days to discuss action against the group.

He promised more resources for the security forces and said the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier would be sent on Thursday to bolster the military campaign against IS. Earlier on Monday, a total of 23 people were arrested and dozens of weapons seized in a series of raids on suspected Islamist militants across France.

Belgian police say two people arrested on Saturday have been charged with “participating in a terrorist attack”. They were among seven people detained in Belgium at the weekend. Five of them were later released, including Mohammed Abdeslam, the brother of two suspects – Brahim Abdeslam, killed during the attacks, and Salah Abdeslam, who is on the run.

France held a nationwide minute of silence at midday local time (11:00 GMT) for the victims.

President Francois Hollande led the minute’s silence from the Sorbonne University – an acknowledgement of the young age of so many of the 129 who died, the BBC’s Hugh Schofield reports from Paris.

The country has been slowly, awkwardly getting itself back into some form of routine, but because of the feelings triggered by Friday’s horror, life still does not feel normal, our correspondent adds.

Reports: BBC



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