Jumat, 30 Maret 2012

Round up of " radical islamists " starts , good for polling numbers for Sarkozy


Arrests in French shootings city
Police arrest 19 people in Toulouse and other cities in raids President Nicolas Sarkozy says targeted "radical Islam".
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2012 11:44
Sarkozy said authorities had some "extremely precise questions to ask a certain number of people". [AFP]
French police have arrested 19 people in dawn raids across a number of cities in what President Nicolas Sarkozy described as a crackdown on "radical Islam".
Several of the arrests on Friday occured in the southwestern city of Toulouse, where an al-Qaeda inspired gunman carried out a series of attacks earlier this month that left seven people dead.
Police units also staged raids in Nantes and Le Mans in western France, in Nice in the south, and in the Paris region, police sources told news agencies.
Speaking on Europe 1 radio, Sarkozy confirmed the arrests and said that weapons had been seized. He said the operation was "linked with a form of radical Islam" and suggested that further raids would occur.
"We have some extremely precise questions to ask a certain number of people and what happened this morning will continue," he said.
"There will be other operations that will continue and will also allow us to expel from our national territory a certain number of people."
Raids 'not linked' to killings
Police sources told the AFP news agency that the raids were "not directly linked" to the Toulouse shootings, alleged to have been carried out by Mohammed Merah, who was killed by armed police last week after a standoff at his apartment in the city.
Sarkozy said the attacks in Toulouse and nearby Montauban, which left three soldiers, three children and a teacher dead, had been profoundly felt in France, and "a little like the trauma" that followed the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.
Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland, reporting from Paris, said Sarkozy also announced he would pass new anti-terrorism measures before the country's presidential election on April 22.
"They are very much trying now to focus the election campaign on security rather than on economic issues, which have up until this point dominated the debate," she said of Sarkozy's campaign for re-election.
Merah was buried on Thursday in the Muslim section of a cemetery in the Toulouse neighbourhood of Cornebarrieu, on the outskirts of Toulouse, sources said, despite requests from the city's mayor that he be buried elsewhere.
French authorities have charged his brother Abdelkader Merah with complicity in the attacks and said they were looking for other accomplices.

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