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France seizes first passports of Syria-bound citizens

© Philippe Huguen, AFP I An employee of the state Printing Company in Flers-en-Escrebieux, near Douai, Northern France displays 12 April 2006 a sample of the new biometric pasport which production will start, 13 April.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2015-02-23

Six French citizens have had their passports confiscated after allegedly planning to travel to Syria, a security source said on Monday -- the first time the measure has been used.

The right to remove passports was introduced as part of a raft of new counter-terrorism laws in November aimed at curbing the number of French citizens leaving to join jihadist groups in the Middle East.

The source said the six French were "imminently" about to travel to Syria.

Their passports and identity cards have been confiscated for six months, after which the order can be renewed.

"There will be more," said Prime Minister Manuel Valls when asked about the case on Monday.

Some 1,400 people living in France have either joined the jihadist cause in Syria and Iraq or are planning to do so, Valls said last month.

"Around 40 cases are currently under investigation" in addition to the six, the source said.

(AFP)

Date created : 2015-02-23

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