France mobilises 10,000 soldiers to boost security after terror attacks


Kosher store

France has mobilised 10,000 soldiers to boost security at sensitive places in the aftermath of the recent terror attacks in the country.

The country is also deploying nearly 5,000 extra police officers to safeguard Jewish schools and neighbourhoods.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the troops will protect transport hubs, tourism sites and key buildings, and undertake general street patrols.

Le Drian said: "The threats remain and we have to protect ourselves from them.

"It is an internal operation that will mobilise almost as many men as we have in our overseas operations.

"This is the first time that our troops have been mobilised to such an extent on our own soil."

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls was quoted by BFM TV as saying: "Synagogues, Jewish schools but also mosques will be protected because in the past few days there have been a number of attacks against mosques."

"The threats remain and we have to protect ourselves from them."

Seventeen people, including journalists and police officers, died during three days of violence that started when Said and Cherif Kouachi attacked the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on 7 January.

Another gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, shot dead a policewoman in a suburb of Paris the following day. He then took 19 people hostage inside a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on 9 January and killed four of them.

French security forces killed all three gunmen and arrested some of their accomplices, but as many as six members involved in the attacks are believed to still be at large.

Hayat Boumeddiene, who is the alleged widow of Coulibaly, has reportedly crossed into Syria through the south-eastern Turkish city of Sanliurfa.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said to Agence France-Presse: "We told them, 'the person you are looking for was here, stayed here and crossed into Syria illegally'."


Image: Amedy Coulibaly killed four people in Hide Hyper store, Porte de Vincennes, Paris. Photo: courtesy of JJ Georges.