French PM calls for "responsibility and dignity" after Paris shooting

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-21 17:36:11|Editor: Tian Shaohui
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Police cordoned off the Champs Elysees street in Paris, April 20, 2017. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)

PARIS, April 21 (Xinhua) -- French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Friday morning called for "responsibility and dignity" in the aftermath of an attack on police officers in central Paris, which left one dead and two seriously wounded.

Cazeneuve made the remarks after a defense meeting convened by President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace.

"Nothing should hinder this fundamental democratic moment for our country," he said, referring to the coming presidential election set to start on Sunday.

The French government is "fully mobilized" after the shooting, which has raised strong concerns over the nation's security situation in the election, said Cazeneuve, adding 50,000 policemen and gendarmes will be deployed to safeguard the event.

At the defense meeting, leaders "made a precise point" on the security measures to be implemented during the election period, and "specialized intervention units are placed on alert to ensure full reactivity" beyond the traditional means, said the prime minister.

"It is up to us not to give in to fear, intimidation, manipulation, and division. We must fight against obscurantism and intolerance ... and unity must prevail," he said.

The shooting occurred Thursday evening on the Champs-Elysees avenue, killing one policeman and injuring two others. The gunman was shot dead in an exchange of fire with the police.

The extremist group Islamic State (IS) later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the assailant was a 39-year-old Belgian citizen.

The French authorities have not revealed further information regarding the assailant, as the investigation was still underway.