The proximity of France’s presidential ballot has added a political aspect to the killings and candidates have been keen to react to events – but also keen not to be seen as trying to make politcal capital out of them.
“We are all united behind the same cause: to never let any of us be exposed to a terrorist condemnation,” said Socialist candidate Francois Hollande who is leading in the polls. “We must pursue this battle without let up. It is our battle, it is the Republic’s.”
Immigrants and Islam have been recurrent themes of Prseident Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign for a second term. The National Front leader has called for a war on fundamentalism.
In an interview with Euronews, Marine Le Pen said this event could rally people to that fight.
“This act will have an impact, but I hope a positive impact,” she said. “An impact, I believe, on national unity – the national unity of French Muslims, Jews and Christians who will come together to fight against this fundamentalism. Fight against these politcal-religious claims of a radical Islam which we should never have allowed to take hold in our land.”