France to extend state of emergency to cover Euro 2016

The state of emergency was imposed following the November 13 jihadist attacks that left 130 dead and hundreds wounded in the French capital, and was already extended by three months in February until May 26.

Members of the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) take positions during a terror attack exercise at the Gare Montparnasse railway station in Paris.   -  AP

France's government will ask parliament to extend a state of emergency declared after the Paris terror attacks so that it covers the period of the Euro 2016 football tournament, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday.

The measure - which gives the state increased security powers - was imposed following the November 13 jihadist attacks that left 130 dead and hundreds wounded in the French capital, and was already extended by three months in February until May 26. The government hopes to extend it to cover the Euro 2016 tournament to be held in France from June 10 to July 10, Valls told France Info radio.

He said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve will make a proposal to the cabinet later Wednesday and a text would be sent to parliament, which would vote on the issue.

"We will propose to extend (the emergency) for a period of two additional months from the end of May in view of the threat," he said. "Because faced with this threat we need to have these powers, these possibilities, under the control of a judge, under the control of parliament, to allow for the best response faced with terrorism."

The exceptional measure allows the interior minister to place under house arrest any person whose behaviour is considered "a threat to security and public order" and to order searches of homes at any hour without involving the court.

Since it was imposed in November, "more than 3,500 searches have been carried out... resulting in 400 arrests, Cazeneuve said on Friday.

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