France beefs up security following attacks

Prime minister announces deployment of up to 300 troops following three attacks on police and pedestrians.

    France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls has announced that up to 300 soldiers would be deployed around the country to ensure security following three attacks over as many days.

    "The number of patrols will be increased during this (Christmas) period. Two hundred to 300 soldiers will be deployed in the coming hours," Valls said on Tuesday in a televised address.

    The motives behind the recent incidents - a knife attack on policemen and two car attacks - remain unclear.

    Valls, however, said the three incidents were not linked and were unrelated to "terrorism".

    Earlier, French President Francois Hollande asked Valls to convene an emergency cabinet meeting to discuss the attacks, while urging the French public not to panic.

    Hollande also said there were no links between the recent attacks.

    One person died and several others were injured in the western city of Nantes on Monday night when a driver drove into a Christmas market before stabbing himself.

    On Sunday a man shouting "Allahu Akbar", God is Greatest in Arabic, drove into pedestrians on the streets of the eastern city of Dijon, injuring 13. The driver was suffering from a severe psychological disorder, a prosecutor said.

    On Saturday a man was shot and killed by police after walking into a police station in the central town of Joue-les-Tours and attacking three officers with a knife. He had also yelled, "Allahu Akbar".

    Fears over revenge attacks have grown in France since the country joined the US-led coalition in conducting air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria and Iraq. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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