Paris Attack: France Extends State of Emergency

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Paris: The French National Assembly has voted to extend the state of emergency for three months following the attacks in Paris by militant Islamists in which 129 people died last Friday.

The government initially imposed the state of emergency on Saturday, giving police extended powers to search and detain suspects.

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The French Senate is expected to debate and approve the extension tomorrow, after which it can go into effect.

Meanwhile, Belgian police staged six raids this morning in the Brussels area linked to a suicide bomber who blew himself up outside the French national stadium last week during the Paris attacks.

The prosecutor’s office told AFP the raids targeted places “linked to Bilal Hadfi,” the 20-year-old who died when he set off his explosives on Friday, in Brussels as well as the suburbs of Uccle, Jette and Molenbeek, which is dubbed a haven for extremists.

The prosecutor added that the raids targeted places involving Hadfi’s family, friends and other people directly linked to him.

Hadfi was one of three assailants who blew themselves up outside the French national stadium, killing one person, as France was playing Germany in a football friendly attended by 80,000 fans, including French President Francois Hollande.

Investigators say Hadfi was a French national who was living in Belgium and had spent time in Syria.

“It’s a case which has already existed in 2015, following Mr Hadfi’s departure for Syria,” a source in the prosecutor’s office said.

Police also detained one person in a separate raid in Laeken, a suburb northwest of Brussels, in connection with the Paris attacks but not with Hadfi, the source added.

The person’s role in the attacks “remains to be seen,” the source said.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has pledged a security crackdown and an extra €400m to fight Islamist violence, while rejecting criticism of Belgium’s security services in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Mr Michel said in a speech to parliament that the government would introduce laws to jail jihadists returning from Syria, ban hate preachers and close down unregistered places of worship in response to last week’s attacks.

Source: RTE


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