"Republic will destroy terrorists": Hollande
| Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 09:49
Paris: "The terrorists will never destroy the republic, because the republic will destroy them," French President Francois Hollande said in a speech addressed to the two chambers of parliament.
"The acts committed on Friday night were acts of war. They left at least 129 people dead and many others injured," Xinhua quoted Hollande as saying on Monday.
"We are in a war against jihadi terrorism which threatens the whole world," he said in reference to the attacks in Paris which included simultaneous shootings, explosions at six places.
Following the air strikes carried out by the military on Sunday in Raqqa, Syria, Hollande announced that France would intensify its operations in Syria.
"We will continue the strikes in the coming weeks," he said, adding that the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle would be deployed to the eastern Mediterranean which would "triple our capacity of action."
"There will be no respite, no truce," stressed a resolute Hollande.
He proposed the security council of the UN to meet as soon as possible to adopt a resolution to destroy Islamic State (IS).
In the meantime, Hollande would meet the US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin to form "one great coalition" facing the terrorists in Syria, he said.
In order to ensure the security of French territory, Hollande said the reductions of army personnel would be suspended till 2019 "for the safety of compatriots".
He also announced France would create 5,000 more police and gendarmes jobs in the coming two years as a security measure to protect the people leading to a total of 10,000 new posts in the next five years.
Although the new security measures would greatly increase the state budget, Hollande said that security was more important than tending to the budget deficit.
He also expressed his wish to extend the current state of emergency status in the country to three months and invited parliamentarians to vote on the bill by the end of the week.
In his speech, Hollande also called for the solidarity of other EU member countries, noting that "the enemy is not just an enemy of France, it's also enemy of the Europe."
He also proposed that EU member states establish "coordinated and systematic controls at the borders," as well as create a European passenger name record for air passengers to "allow the traceability of the return of jihadists."
He also pointed out that the Paris attacks were "decided and planned in Syria, organised in Belgium, and perpetrated on our territory with French complicities."
"We will eradicate terrorism," he said in the speech.
The office of Paris Prosecutor on Monday said two more attackers have been identified.
The first was a suicide bomber of French national stadium Stade de France, where a Syrian passport was found.
Although "the authenticity of the passport in the name of Ahmed Al-Mohammad, born on September 10, 1990 in Idlib (Syria) remains to be verified".
The office of Paris Prosecutor found the finger prints of the suicide bomber matched those collected during a check in Greece in October, 2015.
The second bomber of the Bataclan concert hall was identified as Samy Amimour, born on October 15, 1987 in Paris suburbs.
According to the prosecutor's office, Amimour was known to the anti-terrorist service for having been charged with association with terrorist criminals. An international arrest warrant was issued against him in 2013.
So far, five of the killed attackers, all of whom had returned from Syria, were identified.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Monday warned of possible further attacks on the country's soil and in the European countries.
"More attacks are being prepared, not just against France but also against other European countries," Valls said.
Overnight, French police raided the homes of suspected Islamist militants across the country in the wake of the Paris attacks, he added.
As part of a judicial inquiry into Friday's attacks, police raided 168 houses across the capital, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Monday.
A total of 23 people were arrested and 104 others were put under house arrest over the last two days.
Police also seized 31 weapons, including rocket launchers during the operation, he added.
"Let this be clear to everyone, this is just the beginning, these actions are going to continue," he told reporters.
One of the landmarks of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, was reopened and lit with the colours of the French flag in tribute to the victims.