France to extend state of emergency, says Prime Minister Manuel Valls

The measure will be taken to 'protect democracy' in the run-up to next year's presidential elections

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France is likely to extend the state of emergency implemented following last year’s terror attacks in Paris. 

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said an extension was necessary to “protect our democracy” in the run-up to next year’s presidential elections. 

Speaking on the anniversary of the jihadist attacks that left 130 people dead in the French capital, Mr Valls said the risk of similar attacks seemed to have diminished but he remained “very cautious”. 

"It is difficult today to end the state of emergency. Especially since we are going to begin a presidential campaign in a few weeks with meetings, with public gatherings. So we must also protect our democracy," Mr Valls told the BBC's Hardtalk programme.

"Besides, this state of emergency device allows us to make arrests, administrative checks which are effective. So yes, we are probably going to live a few months more with this state of emergency."

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Balloons are released in front of Paris 11th district town hall, France, November 13, 2016, during a ceremony held for the victims of last year's Paris attacks which targeted the Bataclan concert hall as well as a series of bars and killed 130 people (REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

France first imposed a state of emergency on the night of the Paris attacks on 13th November 2015. 

The measure was imposed temporarily but was extended on multiple occasions, including in July after a lorry driver targeted a crowd of people in Nice celebrating Bastille Day, killing 84. 

President François Hollande led the remembrance services in Paris, with Mayor Anne Hidalgo, by unveiling a series of commemorative plaques at the sites targeted in the attacks. 

The tributes began at the Stade de France and ended at the Bataclan concert hall, which reopened on Saturday with a memorial concert headed by Sting

Balloons were released outside the concert hall, the scene of the deadliest attack where 90 people died. 

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