Following French Prime Minister Manuel Valls' statement over the likelihood of extending the emergency rule, French President Francois Hollande also said he wants the country's state of emergency prolonged until its presidential election next spring.
Hollande said in an interview Tuesday with three French media outlets that France is "at war" in three places. Those are in Iraq and Syria as part of the coalition carrying out airstrikes, in Mali where French soldiers are still trying to rout Islamist extremists, and Hollande says "we are confronting people, very regularly, who want to attack us here, on our soil."
He said "I want to prolong the state of emergency until the presidential election" in April and May, noting that parliament must approve the measure.
France has been under a state of emergency since the Nov. 13, 2015. The state of emergency was last extended for six months at the end of July. As the country is under terrorist threat since 2015, a state of emergency was first announced last November in response to the coordinated Paris attacks that left 130 people dead. Another 17 people were killed in January 2015 in attacks that began with the shooting of journalists working for Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly that had published cartoons mocking Islam.
After the deadly attack in the Riviera city of Nice in July plunged France into new grief and fear, France has extended the country's state of emergency for six months until the end of January 2017 due to security concerns across the country. A Tunisian drove his truck into Bastille Day revelers in Nice, killing 84 people, and two Daesh militants cut the throat of an elderly priest. With the extension of emergency rule, the country will have been in a state of emergency for an unprecedented 14 months.
The French government will ask parliament for a second extension to the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the November 2015 attacks in Paris, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday.
Speaking to lawmakers, Valls said France's upcoming elections and its backing for the Western coalition fighting Daesh militants in Iraq and Syria meant that the threat of further atrocities could not be ignored. "France must also be lucid about the threat," Valls said. "That's why we will be proposing an extension of the state of emergency to parliament."
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