France’s Hollande calls on national unity after Paris massacre

French President Francois Hollande urged citizens Friday to maintain the “national unity” after France’s deadliest attacks in decades. (File photo: Reuters)

French President Francois Hollande confirmed reports on Friday that four hostages were killed at a siege of a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris.

Hollande called for national unity and said the country should remain “implacable” in the face of racism and anti-Semitism.

“It is indeed an appalling anti-Semitic act that was committed,” he said of the hostage-taking by an Islamist gunman at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in the Vincennes district.

Some hostages were seen rushing from the market after heavily armed police broke the siege at the same time as they ended a separate stand-off in northern France involving the two Islamist suspects behind the killings at Charlie Hebdo magazine this week.

"I called for national unity,” Hollande said during a meeting with the emergency committee in the capital Paris earlier today.

“There must be a firm state, a strong state, a state respectful of freedoms and rights, but that ensures the safety of our citizens.”

“It is simply the same conviction, the same determination that should bring a lot of our fellow citizens to demonstrate Sunday,” Hollande said.

"France has been struck directly in the heart of its capital, in a place where the spirit of liberty - and thus of resistance - breathed freely," he said.

Hollande also called on his ministers to reassure the population.

“Reassuring the population means telling [its citizens] that they live in a state of law,” he said.

Hollande also said that there had been “previous foiled attempts” for terror attacks in France.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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