1,000 extra police guard Paris targets

After the blast: Travellers are warned to be vigilant as intelligence source links gas-canister attack to Islamic extremists

Paris was on high alert yesterday as anti-terrorist measures, familiar from last summer, came into force after the rush-hour bomb explosion on Tuesday at Port Royal station. An additional 1,000 police and gendarmes were drafted in to patrol potential targets and 700 troops were placed at the city's disposal.

Two people were killed in the explosion and nearly 100 more were injured.

The most overt security was at stations and tourist sites such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre precinct, where gendarmes and CRS riot police patrolled in pairs. Security announcements were made through the day at underground stations, where passengers were handed small blue and white cards headed "Vigilant, together".

The impression was of a more discreet, but also more discriminating, security presence than last summer, and of a French public quietly returning to well-rehearsed routines.

In such circumstances it seemed almost superfluous for a government spokesman to call for "calm and sang-froid". But ministers revelled in the opportunity to call for national solidarity with the government to combat terrorism and they had the gratifying spectacle of trade unions cancelling planned protests because of the attack.

Outside Paris, security was increased in Bordeaux, where the Prime Minister, Alain Juppe, is mayor, and in Lyons, which was a target during last summer's bomb campaign. Suburban housing estates known to have large concentrations of first- and second-generation north African immigrants and active Islamic groups were placed under special surveillance. There was additional security at airports and borders.

Answering questions in the National Assembly, after a minute's silence for the victims of the bomb, Mr Juppe said no one had so far admitted responsibility and no one line of inquiry was being preferred.

The French news agency AFP, however, quoted "informed sources" - likely to be the intelligence service - as saying that a warning had been out since early November that a bombing campaign could be expected.

They cited an Islamic newsletter from September and a separate tip-off that a commando unit was about to enter France from Italy after training in the Middle East.

The type of bomb - a 13kg gas canister filled with explosives and 10cm nails which was said by experts to have caused as much damage as a grenade - and the timing and location of the attack had immediately recalled last year's campaign by Algerian Islamic terrorists.

Despite these parallels, the foreign ministry spokesman, Jacques Rummelhardt, said that there was so far "nothing to link the attack with the situation in Algeria... we are still at the stage of hypotheses". Some observers connected the bomb with last weekend's referendum in Algeria which had supported a new constitution outlawing religious parties.

Others noted, however, that France's first big terrorist trial of recent years is due to open in Paris on Monday. The case concerns the bombing of a hotel in Marrakesh in Morocco in 1994.

Two French citizens of north African origin are in prison in Morocco after being convicted of the attack, but the inquiry also uncovered a recruiting network based in France.

The case provided the first evidence of Islamic fundamentalist recruitment on French housing estates - a pattern repeatedly uncovered during the investigation into last year's bombs in France.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Semi Senior Accountant - Music

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

English teachers required in Lowestoft

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified English tea...

Business Development Director - Interior Design

£80000 - £100000 per annum + competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment...

Sales Director, Media Sponsorship

£60000 - £65000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A globally successful media and ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits