France extends state of emergency for sixth time

2017-07-07 05:23
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

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Paris - French lawmakers voted for the sixth time to extend the country's state of emergency on Thursday as interior ministry figures showed security forces have thwarted more than one terror attack a month on average this year.

The newly elected parliament, dominated by MPs from centrist President Emmanuel Macron's new party, voted 137 in favour to 13 against to extend the state of emergency until November.

It gives security forces greater freedom to carry out raids and surveillance and has been in place since November 2015 when a string of jihadist attacks in Paris left 130 people dead.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb argued it was necessary to keep French people safe, adding: "Since the start of the year we've stopped seven plots which could have caused many deaths".

A foiled plot in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille in April, when two men with an arsenal of guns and explosives were arrested days before the presidential election, could have had "dreadful" consequences, he said.

Macron, a 39-year-old elected in May, has promised that the state of emergency will expire in November.

But his government is working on a new security law which will make many of the emergency measures permanent.

Twelve human rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, called on lawmakers on Wednesday to drop the state of emergency and reject the new law.

Read more on:    amnesty international  |  human rights watch  |  emmanuel macron  |  france  |  security

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