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Hollande: 'France is at war'

November 16, 2015 4:30 pm

President Francois Hollande vowed France would step up the battle against Islamic State in Syria in the wake of the Paris attacks and asked parliament to consider extending a state of emergency by three months.

“France is at war,” said President Hollande to MPs at a joint session of both houses of parliament.

The attacks in the French capital that killed at least 129 people as they enjoyed a Friday night out in bars, restaurants, a concert hall and the national stadium, “were acts of war”.

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Holland said the attacks were “decided and planned in Syria, prepared and organised in Belgium and perpetrated on our soil with French complicity”, he said.

In response, France would “intensify” operations in Syria, Hollande said. Yesterday French jets pounded IS targets in the group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqa, its first military response to the Paris carnage.

“We will continue the strikes in the weeks to come,” Hollande told MPs.

In the fight against the extremists, Hollande said he wanted increased international assistance, and would meet with US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin in coming days.

Turning to measures within France, he said he would ask parliament to consider extending a state of emergency by three months.

His long and solemn speech culminated in a rendition by MPs of the Marseillaise, the French national anthem.

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