Hollande says to intensify ISIS strikes

2015-11-17 00:43:45 GMT2015-11-17 08:43:45(Beijing Time)  Agencies

Francois Hollande has warned that France plans to "intensify" its campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria.

The French President was speaking several hours after his military jets dropped 20 bombs on the IS stronghold of Raqqa following Friday's co-ordinated attacks in Paris.

At least 129 people were killed and more than 350 injured in a series of shootings and bombings carried out by three teams of terrorists at six locations in the French capital.

The victims were of 19 different nationalities and the attacks were claimed by IS, which said they were in retaliation for French airstrikes in Iraq and Syria,

And in a video it warned any country that hits the jihadist group would suffer the same fate, promising specifically to target Washington.

Addressing the two chambers of parliament, Mr Hollande said the attacks were decided and planned in Syria, prepared in Belgium and carried out with French help.

The suspected mastermind has been named as Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud by French officials.

The president said France was "at war" and the assaults were "an act of war", adding: "We are fighting a war against jihadist terrorism that threatens the whole world and not only France."

Mr Hollande said he will meet Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin to discuss linking up their strategies to destroy IS.

And he called for "a union of all who can fight this terrorist army in a single coalition".

He said he would increase spending on security measures and vowed: "We will eradicate terrorism."

Mr Hollande said 5,000 police jobs will be created within two years and there will be no job cuts in the military until 2016.

A state of emergency was declared following the attacks and Mr Hollande said parliament will debate possibly extending it by three months.

The state of emergency extends some police search and arrest powers and also limits public gatherings.

And he said France should expel more quickly foreigners would present a particularly serious risk to public order and security.

Citizens who have dual nationality should be stripped of their French citizenship if convicted of terrorism and dual nationals should be banned from entering France if they presented a "terrorism risk", he went on.

And he wants more effective controls of the European Union's external borders to avoid a return to national border controls and the dismantling of the EU.

The French prosecutor's office says fingerprints from one of the Paris attackers match those of someone who passed through Greece in October.

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