France steps up security in public places after beheading of French citizen

France steps up security in public places after beheading of French citizen
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France is to increase security in public places and on public transport in the wake of the beheading of a French mountain guide in Algeria and threats against French citizens by jihadists.

The new measures were announced on Thursday after the president called an emergency meeting of the defence council.

Meanwhile France is continuing its bombing raids against ISIL targets in Iraq and has pledged to increase support for Syrian opposition fighters.

The French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said France refused to be intimidated by extremists: “France will never give in, France does not give into intimidation, that’s the reaction we owe our fellow citizen who was assassinated.”

Muslim leaders in France have condemned the death of Hervé Gourdel as an “unspeakable horror” and a “barbarity.” They have called for Muslims to gather outside the Paris Mosque on Friday to show they are united in condemning the crime.

In Belleville in Paris, where there is a large Muslim population, there was anger against ISIL and the impact they were having on ordinary Muslims.

One man said: “Its us who will pay price. All the people will pay the price here. It’s their fault and we have to pay the price.”

Throughout the weekend, flags will be at half-mast across France to pay tribute to the 55-year-old French mountain guide and father of two.

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