Results tagged “France”
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President Hollande said the French contingent of 650 troops in Central African Republic will be doubled within days, but that the intervention would differ from the Malian one, as in CAR, France will serve as a "gendarme." Foreign Minister Fabius said the CAR operation was to help stem mounting sectarian violence, and Defense Minister Le Drian said it could wind down in six months.
To support an African peacekeeping force, France will triple the amount of soldiers it has in CAR to over 1,000 for six months. France's ambassador to the UN predicted that the intervention will probably be easier than the one in Mali. France also has a military presence in Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Chad, and Gabon.
A former member of France's DGSE spy agency dismissed the claim made by a British anti-racism group in a recent report that French intelligence considered killing hate preacher Abu Hamza in England in the late 1990s. Foreign Minister Fabius said France may begin lifting Iran sanctions in December. France may increase increase its troop presence in the Central African Republic.
Intelligence officers arrested four men in the Parisian suburb of Vitry-sur-Seine who are suspected of running a recruiting network for jihadists in Syria. Two of the men had fought with the Al Nusrah Front. Interior Minister Valls said in September that over 100 French people have gone to join the Syrian rebels, but a source now says that about 440 people from France have gone to Syria to fight and about half are currently in Syria. The source also said about 10 were killed in Syria and some 50 to 60 have returned to France.
Officials are denying that a ransom was paid for the recent release of four French hostages held captive for three years by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb; reports allege that a ransom of $26 million was paid. A negotiator from Niger, former Tuareg rebel Mohamed Akotey, is said to have been instrumental in securing their release. President Hollande said he has not forgotten about seven more French nationals still being held hostage; there are thought to be four in Syria, two in Mali or Niger, and one in Nigeria.