French police have made “more than 150 raids” on suspected Islamists across the country, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced Monday.
(VOA Report Lisa Bryant)
The raids were carried out early Monday in Toulouse, Grenoble, Jeumont, Lyon and the Parisian suburb of Bobigny, resulting in the detaining of more than ten people and the capture of many weapons, including a rocket launcher, a Kalashnikov rifle and bulletproof vests.
Valls stated France has “avoided several attacks,” but there could be more “in the coming days, in the coming weeks.” The prime minister said he is not trying to alarm people but “we’re living with, and we’re going to live for a long time, with this terrorist threat and we need to prepare ourselves for further attacks.”
The raids and arrests were made as France makes preparations for a midday moment of silence to pay homage to the victims of Friday’s terrorist attacks on six sites across Paris, killing 129 people and wounding more than 350.
The death toll had stood at 132, but lowered after an apparent counting error. French President Francois Hollande is scheduled to mark the silent remembrance at the Sorbonne.
The European Union has asked all its member states also to partake in the silent observation. Officials at NATO headquarters in Brussels will also observe the minute of silence.