Daesh threat to Europe never so severe: Hollande

KONFRONTASI - French President Francois Hollande says the threat of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group to Europe has never been so severe, pledging to use “all means” to defeat terrorists.

“In the face of this threat that has never been greater in France and Europe, the government is absolutely determined [to defeat] terrorism,” Hollande said on Tuesday.

He made the remarks after two knife-wielding men took a number of people hostage at a church in the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray town of France’s northern Normandy region and slit the throat of an elderly priest.

The two assailants were later shot and killed by police officers. After the incident, Amaq news agency, which is affiliated to the Takfiri terrorist group, announced that two of its members had carried out the attack. 

The assault was the latest in a wave of attacks in Europe inspired by Daesh terrorist group, mainly based in Iraq and Syria.

A woman sits near flowers and candles at the town hall in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen in Normandy, France, to pay tribute to French priest, Father Jacques Hamel, who was killed with a knife in an attack on a church that was carried out by assailants linked to Daesh terrorist group, July 26, 2016. © Reuters

Hollande said France should “use all its means” within the law to fight Daesh, adding the war on the terrorist group would be “long” both abroad and at home.

“The government is applying and will apply, with the most extreme firmness, the laws we voted and which give the justice [system], police commissioners, police forces and intelligence services, the capacity to act, all this amplified by the extension and reinforcement of the state of emergency.”

A state of emergency has been in place in France since last November, when assailants struck at least six different venues in and around the capital, Paris, leaving 130 people dead and over 350 others injured.

The city of Nice also saw a deadly assault on July 14, when 84 people were killed. Daesh claimed responsibility for both acts of terror.

Last week, the French parliament extended the state of emergency for another six months.

The Hollande administration is under fire for what is said to be security failings. It stands accused of not doing enough to protect the population.

Prime Minster Manuel Valls has warned that more attacks by Takfiri terrorists may hit France.

Paris has been supporting militant groups fighting the Syrian government and French policies have been blamed for the rise of terror groups in Syria and Iraq.[ptv]

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