French anti-terror arrests climb

14th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 14 (AFP) - The number of arrests under France's anti-terrorism laws went up by more than a quarter in 2004, Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin said Friday.

PARIS, Jan 14 (AFP) - The number of arrests under France's anti-terrorism laws went up by more than a quarter in 2004, Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin said Friday.

Of the 315 people held for alleged terrorist offenses, 101 were suspected Islamic militants, 154 were Corsican nationalists and 60 Basque nationalists, Villepin told journalists at a new year's reception.

In 2003 there were 247 arrests, of which 77 were for suspected Islamic militancy.

Villepin also announced a fall in overall reported crime of 3.76 percent, which he described as the sharpest drop since 1995. "Crime has gone down by ten percent in just three years," he said.

The minister said that he had instructed prefects - government representatives in the provinces - to step up security in cemeteries after a series of acts of vandalism targetting Jewish and Muslim graves.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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