Hollande promises to ‘destroy IS’, in speech at Versailles

By Sarah Harvey

French president Francois Hollande and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (middle and right) stand with other ministers as they observe a minute of silence at the Sorbonne University in Paris to pay tribute to victims of Friday's Paris attacks.
REUTERS/Stephane de Sakutin
French president Francois Hollande and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (middle and right) stand with other ministers as they observe a minute of silence at the Sorbonne University in Paris to pay tribute to victims of Friday's Paris attacks. REUTERS/Stephane de Sakutin

French president Francois Hollande has extended his country’s state of emergency to three months as he vows to “destroy ISIS”.

Hollande, speaking during a joint session of the French Parliament at the Palace of Versailles, said France was committed to “destroying” the so-called Islamic State group after Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris.

Information has been uncovered which backs up ISIS claims that it carried out the attacks on bars, restaurants, a concert hall and a stadium in which 129 people died.

Hollande said he would table a bill to extend the state of emergency declared after the attacks and would suggest changes to the constitution.

According to the BBC he will travel to meet US President Barack Obama and Russian Vladimir Putin in the coming days to discuss action against the group.

It follows discussion by world leaders at a G20 summit in Turkey where tighter co-operation was promised.

French aircraft attacked Raqqa, IS’s stronghold in Syria on Sunday night. French officials said 10 jets had dropped 20 guided bombs targeting sites including a command centre, a recruitment centre for jihadists, a munitions depot and a training camp.

IS issued a statement saying the raid targeted empty locations and there were no casualties.

Hollande promised other measures including:

  • 5000 extra police posts in the next two years and no new cuts in the defence budget
  • Making it easier to strip dual nationals of their French citizenship if they are convicted of a terrorist offence
  • Speeding up the deportation of foreigners who pose “a particularly grave threat to the security of the nation”
  • Pushing for greater European action against arms trafficking and greater penalties for it in France

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