France steps up security at embassies after bin Laden death

2nd May 2011, Comments 0 comments

The French goverment has stepped up security at its embassies and schools "in the appropriate countries" following the death of Osama bin Laden, Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Monday.

Fillon said the government had given instructions to its embassies and schools to increase security.

"It is not the end of the war against terrorism and we have had a high threat level for a number of years," he said in interview on France 2 television.

"We will stay at this level but obviously the intelligence services, the security services have instructions to be extra vigilant."

Fillon said the death of bin Laden in a US military operation in Pakistan, "does not change anything at present" but "there could be action in return," notably from organisations close to Al-Qaeda.

"That's why we have this morning (Monday) given instructions to our embassies in the appropriate countries to increase security... at embassies and consulates, primary and secondary schools, and also at French companies in the most dangerous areas," Fillon said.

The prime minister said the death of the head of Al-Qaeda was justice for "all those killed in the attacks which Al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for."

He said that after almost 10 years since the September 11 attacks, with the rise of democratic movements in Arab countries, things were changing.

"It's an era coming to an end. Things are beginning to change.

"The movement begun by Osama bin Laden no longer resonates with (Arab) society today," he added.

© 2011 AFP

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