France seeks global coalition in renewed fight against IS

AFP Photo | The Eiffel Tower in Paris is lit in the blue, white and red Tricolore of the French flag on Monday 16 November, 2015.

French President François Hollande called on the United States and Russia on Monday to join a global coalition to destroy the Islamic State (IS) group following the attacks across Paris, announcing a wave of measures to combat terrorism in France.


“France is at war,” Hollande told a joint session of parliament at the Palace of Versailles, promising to increase funds for national security and strengthen anti-terrorism laws in response to the suicide bombings and shootings that killed 129.

“We’re not engaged in a war of civilisations, because these assassins do not represent any. We are in a war against jihadist terrorism which is threatening the whole world,” he told a packed, sombre chamber.

Parliamentarians gave Hollande a standing ovation before spontaneously singing the “Marseillaise” national anthem in a show of political unity after the worst atrocity France has seen since World War Two.

Here are the latest developments:

  • US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris Monday evening ahead of planned talks with Hollande at the Elysée Palace. A State Department spokesman said Kerry will use his visit to reiterate a shared resolve to counter violent extremism in France and elsewhere.
  • France observed a minute’s silence at noon on Monday in memory of the victims of the attacks, which killed 129 people and injured more than 350.
  • Two people detained in Belgium on Saturday in the wake of the Paris attacks have been charged with terrorism according to the federal prosecutor’s office, which added that a major police operation in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek had yielded no new evidence or arrests.
  • The Paris prosecutor’s office named two more suspected suicide bombers who blew themselves up at the Bataclan concert hall and the national stadium during Friday’s attacks.
  • France carried out massive air strikes Sunday night on IS targets in Raqqa, Syria.
  • A search is under way for “the eighth man” in the Paris attacks. French police late on Sunday issued a public appeal for information on 26-year-old Belgian, Salah Abdeslam, in connection with the attacks.
  • Schools, offices and museums reopened on Monday on the country’s third and final day of national mourning.
  • French authorities have a number for people looking for missing loved ones: +33 (0) 800 40 60 05. There is also a special number for tourists: +33 (0)1 45 55 80 00. Information that can help police in the investigation into the attacks can be called in (from France) by dialling: 197.

To follow Monday’s events as they unfolded, read our liveblog below.

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