French President Nicolas Sarkozy has urged restraint in the face of a series of killings in south west France.
He is facing re-election next month and some have criticised his campaign for stoking xenophobia.
“We must be united. We must give in neither to discrimination nor revenge,” he said, in a formal address from the presidential palace.
“We must be united. We must give in neither to discrimination nor revenge.
“Faced with such an event, France cannot be great but in national unity. We owe it to the victims killed in cold blood. We owe it to our country.”
His main rival in the election is Socialist Francois Hollande.
“The fight against terrorism must continue unabaited and unweakened,” said Hollande who is leading in polls.
“This struggle is a struggle that involves the whole Republic, above and beyond that which may at times separate us. We are all united behind the same cause: to never let any of us be exposed to a terrorist attack. We must pursue this battle without let up. It is our battle, it is the Republic’s.”