French government again reviews vote security

2017-04-21 11:58
A bullet hole in a window at a building on the Champs Elysees, in Paris, a day after a gunman opened fire on police. (Philippe Lopzez, AFP)

A bullet hole in a window at a building on the Champs Elysees, in Paris, a day after a gunman opened fire on police. (Philippe Lopzez, AFP)

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Paris - France's government has reviewed its already extensive election security measures and says it is "fully mobilised" in the wake of the Champs-Elysees gun attack on police officers.

Speaking after a meeting on Friday morning of the government's security council, Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said: "Barbarity and cowardice struck Paris last night, as they also recently struck elsewhere in Europe - in Berlin, Stockholm, in London."

He said "the whole of Europe is targeted because it represents the values and ideals of peace".

He said more than 50 000 police and gendarmes are mobilised to protect Sunday's first-round vote in the two-stage election, with an additional 7 000 soldiers also on patrol. He added that the intelligence services are working "in the shadows" and elite intervention police forces are also on alert.

He said "nothing must hamper this democratic moment, essential for our country".

The prime minister appealed for national unity and for people "not to succumb to fear."

Meanwhile, Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron is appealing to French voters to keep a cool head in the wake of the attack.

Speaking on Friday on RTL radio, Macron said: "What our attackers want is death, symbolism, to sow panic [and] to disturb a democratic process, which is the presidential election."

Asked if the assault would impact voting on Sunday, Macron said: "No one knows."

Read more on:    france

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