FRANCE

France’s Macron seeks to extend state of emergency to November

Philippe Lopez, AFP | Archival picture shows French soldiers patroling near the Eiffel Tower in Paris in May 2017

President Emmanuel Macron will ask France’s parliament to extend a state of emergency, in place since the 2015 attacks by Islamic State (IS) group militants, following this Monday’s suicide bombing in Manchester.

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France’s new president said in a statement that he will ask lawmakers to prolong the measure from July 15, its current expiration date, until November 1. It would be the sixth extension of the state of emergency, which gives police exceptional powers.

He made the decision after a security meeting Wednesday in which top officials "studied the implications of this new terrorist attack on measures of protection to ensure the security of our compatriots".

The statement from the Elysée presidential palace once again noted “the bonds that unite France and the United Kingdom in the fight against terrorism”.

An improvised explosive device was detonated at a concert at the Manchester Arena on Monday evening, killing as many as 22 young people, as well as the attacker.

The deadly blast was claimed by the IS group on Tuesday, but a lack of details about the incident shed doubt on whether the Islamist extremists had really organized or ordered the attack.

Macron also asked his government to prepare draft legislation to reinforce security measures permanently beyond the state of emergency.

France will hold a two-round parliamentary election on June 11 and 18.

(FRANCE 24 with AP, AFP)

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