by Compiled from Wire Services
Jul 26, 2016 12:00 am
French President Francois Hollande yesterday sought to defuse a row concerning allegations that his government tried to alter a security report after the Bastille Day massacre in Nice, after security has been increased across the country.
At the center of the storm is Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, whom right-wingers have accused of security failings after France suffered its third major terror attack in 18 months.
Pressure on Cazeneuve intensified when local police officer Sandra Bertin accused the ministry of the interior of trying to bully her into altering a report about police deployment on the night of the attack.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls waded into the affair on Monday, telling French TV the row was "purely political and aimed at destabilizing the government."
France is yet another European country that is reeling from a spate of attacks. Last week a huge majority in France's National Assembly voted for a proposed law that would extend the state of emergency for six months following last week's massacre in Nice. While some on the right think the six-month extension is not sufficient, there are also critics on the left who are concerned about civil liberties, who say an attack occurred even with the state of emergency in place.
The state of emergency was first imposed following the Nov. 13 attacks in the French capital that left 130 people dead. Since emergency measures were imposed in November, hundreds of searches have been carried out, while dozens of suspects have been taken into custody or placed under house arrests. Last week, violence erupted in Paris over the death of a young man in police custody.