PARIS (AFP) – French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Tuesday that security would be stepped up nationwide following three successive, apparently unrelated bloody attacks, in a bid to ease growing unease in the country.
While the motives behind the incidents – a knife attack on police and two cases of cars ploughing into passers-by – remain unclear, the violence has jarred nerves after repeated extremist calls for “lone wolf” action in France over its fight against extremism.
“Fear over Christmas” declared Le Parisien daily, while Le Figaro newspaper wrote a front-page editorial headlined “enemies from within”.
Valls stressed that the three incidents were “distinct”, urging the French to keep calm while stressing security would be heightened.
“The number of patrols will be increased during this (Christmas) period. Two hundred to 300 extra soldiers will be deployed in the coming hours” on top of the 780 already on patrol, he said live on television.