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Homeland Security

France to Hire 2,680 to Fight Extremism

by VOA News January 21, 2015

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said France will create 2,680 new security positions over the next three years to help counter the threat of Islamic extremism.

Valls announced the new measure Wednesday after his weekly cabinet meeting, saying Paris will spend nearly $500 million on the effort to boost the fight against terrorism, in the wake of the deadly attacks earlier this month.

Fewer military jobs to be cut

Meanwhile, France announced it will cut 7,500 fewer military jobs than previously planned to step up the fight against terrorism.

President Francois Hollande met with his top security advisers Wednesday to discuss France's military program. His office said the defense will cut 18,300 positions instead of 25,800 between 2015 and 2019. This year, the military will make 1,500 fewer cuts than planned; they're likely to be made by summer.

4 charged in kosher market attack

Also Wednesday, French investigators said they have charged four people in connection with the attack on a kosher supermarket in eastern Paris that resulted in the deaths of four hostages.

Prosecutors said that the men charged have ties to Amedy Coulibaly, who killed four people in a hostage standoff at a Jewish supermarket January 9. He was killed in a police raid that ended the siege. A day earlier, he had killed a policewoman.

The four men are suspected of having provided support for Coulibaly. According to the Associated Press, they're charged with 'association with terrorism.'

The kosher market shootings ended three days of terror attacks around Paris that started with the killing of 12 people at the Paris headquarters of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

This week, Valls told reporters that the attacks have exposed a 'geographic, social and ethnic apartheid' in France. The country has been on high alert since then.

Charlie Hebdo, known for mocking religion and other targets, became the focus of worldwide sympathy after the terror attacks. Its first edition after the attacks caricatured the Prophet Mohammed on its cover and its initial run of 3 million copies – vastly beyond the magazine's regular 60,000 weekly circulation – sold out within minutes. The run later was increased to 5 million.

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