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Hollande leads homage to victims of terrorism in France

Michel Euler, AFP | French President François Hollande pays tribute to victims of terrorist attacks at the Invalides in Paris on September 19, 2016.

A ceremony to honour the victims of terrorism was held in Paris Monday, with French President François Hollande leading tributes to those killed, injured and bereaved in the recent spate of attacks.

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Addressing an audience of victims, the bereaved, politicians and officials at the historic Invalides military museum, Hollande promised to boost compensation and to step up the fight against terrorism.

"We must ensure that sustained action is taken to anticipate attacks, deter them and stop them. It's a constant battle and it will need even more resources," he said.

The French president’s speech was followed by a solemn reading of the names of the victims of the attacks carried out by Islamist extremists last year in Paris and in July in Nice.

The ceremony, organised by support groups for victims of terrorism, has been held every year since 1989.

Its date – September 19 – marks the anniversary of an attack on a plane flying from Congo’s Brazzaville to Paris in 1989, in which 170 people were killed, including 54 French nationals.

This year’s event has a special resonance after a string of attacks that have claimed more than 230 lives since January 2015.

A state of emergency has been in place in France since the coordinated attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015, with the government increasing the number of police officers and putting thousands of soldiers on the streets.

Among the guests attending Monday's ceremony were former president Nicolas Sarkozy and his chief rival, Alain Juppé.

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