France commemorates Paris attacks victims, terror risks remain high

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-14 00:33:36|Editor: Zhou Xin
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PARIS, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday led a ceremony to commemorate the victims killed in the shootings and explosions that rocked several places across Paris and in the city's northern suburb of Saint-Denis on Nov. 13, 2015.

The commemorations started in front of the door of the Stade de France where the first suicide bomber killed one person and broke the calm in Parisian vibrant venues.

Accompanied by his predecessor Francois Hollande, government members and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, Macron later returned to the cafes and restaurants Le Carillon, Le Petit Cambodge, La Bonne Biere, Comptoir Voltaire and la Belle Equipe, where he laid wreaths and observed one minute of silence.

The ceremony ended at the Bataclan performance hall where 90 people lost their lives.

Two years after Islamic State militants killed more than 130 people in a series of shootings and explosions in Paris, France "holds on" by taking efficient security measures but the combat against terror at home was not over, French officials said.

After its worst terrorist attacks that ignited security fears and internal conflicts, France had succeeded to preserve its way of life, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Monday, stressing "France is still France."

"We can say that our country holds on and has been able to find legal and military answers (to assaults), but also a form of attachment to what it is, of a resolute commitment to a way of being, a way of life that it does not want to be challenged," he added.

However, France remains top target of terrorist cells due to its military intervention in Iraq, Syria and the Sahel region.

It had imposed emergency security rules in the wake of the Nov. 13, 2015 attacks. Since then, the country has witnessed a wave of terror attacks, and the bloodiest was in the city of Nice, where a man drove his truck into a crowd, killing 86 people on Bastille Day last year.

The French prime minister told France inter radio on Monday, "the threat level remains obviously high."

Speaking to the daily Le Figaro in an interview, Laurent Nunez, head of France's internal intelligence agency DGSI said "we know that the will of the jihadists to take action is intact," stressing that terror threat was still "very serious."

"What worries us are plans for terrorist attacks prepared by teams that are still operating in fighting zones in Syria and Iraq ...Our concerns are about the capacity that IS still has - but also al Qaeda ... to plan an attack on French territory," he added.

According to the Interior Ministry data, emergency security measures have helped intelligence agencies foil more than 30 attacks since 2015.

Recently, eight individuals arrested earlier last week in a joint Franco-Swiss anti-terrorism operation, have been placed under formal investigation on charge of criminal terrorist conspiracy.

Making the fight against terrorism one of his mandates priorities, Macron signed a bill that will enshrine emergency security rules into law expected to offer police more power to better combat terrorism.

"The first mission of the State is to protect our fellow citizens and ensure the security of the territory..." We have to adapt our organization, out action," Macron told security force members last month.