Saturday February 16, 2019
Home World France deploy...

France deploys 115,000 personnel,128 overnight raids

0
//

Paris: Following last week’s Paris attacks by Islamist militants that claimed at least 129 lives, French authorities have mobilised 115,000 personnel to ratchet up security across the country, media reports said on Tuesday.

“We have mobilised 115,000 police, gendarmes and military over the whole of our national territory to insure the protection of French people,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Tuesday.

The interior minister added that 128 raids on suspected Islamist militants had been carried out overnight on Monday to Tuesday, BBC reported.

A total of 104 suspects were placed under house arrest and seized weapons that include a rocket launcher, a CNN report said.

More than 160 raids were made earlier on Monday, with 23 people arrested and dozens of weapons seized.

French warplanes carried out a new round of airstrikes on the Islamic State’s (IS) Syrian stronghold of Raqqa earlier on Tuesday. Authorities reported seven strikes and at least three major explosions in the city.

A huge manhunt was under way for 26-year-old Belgian-born French national Salah Abdeslam, one of the key suspects of the attack.

He is believed to have fled across the border to his native Belgium where Belgian police have released more pictures of the wanted man.

The Belgian government has raised its terror threat level because of the failure so far to arrest Abdeslam. Tuesday’s football match between the national team and Spain has been cancelled as a result.

Investigators are also reported to be focusing on a Belgian of Moroccan descent who is described as the possible mastermind of the attacks.

Abdelhamid Abaoud, 27, lived in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels, as did two of the attackers, and is now believed to be based in Syria, where he has risen through the IS ranks.

Abaaoud was implicated in the planning of a number of terrorist attacks and conspiracies in Western Europe before the Paris attacks. Believed to be close to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Abaaoud was linked to a plan to attack Belgian police that was thwarted in January.

He has since been featured in ISIS’ online English-language magazine, Dabiq. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Declaring the country to be “at war”, President Francois Hollande has proposed extending the state of emergency for a further three months along with sweeping new anti-terrorism laws.

Three teams of terrorists on November 13 staged coordinated attacks at six locations across Paris, including a concert hall, the Stade de France and at least two restaurants. At least 129 people were killed and 352 others wounded in the attacks.

Two of the total seven dead attackers were identified as Ismael Omar Mostefai, 29, and Bilal Hafdi, aged 20.

(With inputs from IANS)

Next Story

Defense Analysis Study Shows Global Terror Attacks Down By 33 Per Cent

The report said it recorded 15,321 attacks in 2018, which resulted in a total of 13,483 nonmilitant fatalities.

0
Terror
Bombs inside a vehicle used by the Islamic State militants in suicide car bombings are pictured after a demining team defused them in Raqqa, Syria. VOA

A new study by a defense analysis company indicates there was a 33 percent drop in global terror attacks in 2018, and terrorism fatalities fell to a 10-year low.

Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center released its annual Global Attack Index on Wednesday, saying one of the central reasons for the decrease in incidents and fatalities was the decrease in violence in Syria, where the government has gained control of territory previously occupied by Islamic State militants.

Attacks by IS in 2018 declined by nearly 75 percent compared to 2017.

Mumbai Terror Attack
A man walks past a wall riddled with bullet holes opposite to the Nariman House, one of the targets of the November 26, 2008 attacks, after the renaming ceremony of Nariman House as Nariman Light House in Mumbai, India. VOA

The study said in addition to Syria, IS was also affected by losses in Iraq, which “noticeably reduced” the militants’ capability to operate, forcing them to switch to “lower intensity insurgent operations.”

With violence down in Syria, Afghanistan became the deadliest country worldwide in 2018 in terms of nonmilitant fatalities. Jane’s said attacks rose by almost one-third last year, while fatalities rose 80 percent.

Ukraine also saw a marked rise in violence. In the east, home to a Russia-backed separatist insurgency, attacks have been rising 18.4 percent over the past year. The report attributed that rise “almost entirely” to two pro-Russia separatist groups operating in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region where the separatist movement is strongest.

Pakistan Hovers On The Fringes Of Being Branded As A Terror State
Pakistan Hovers On The Fringes Of Being Branded As A Terror State. Flickr

The report said it recorded 15,321 attacks in 2018, which resulted in a total of 13,483 nonmilitant fatalities.

Also Read: External Affairs Minister Considers Terror, WMD and Climate Change As Critical Challenges Today

Jane’s has been issuing its reports since 2009. It said the 2018 study showed the lowest fatality numbers since it began issuing the report 10 years ago. (VOA)