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France calls up 12,000 reserves after attack

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve delivers a statement following a terrorist attack in Nice, at Hotel de Beauvau in Paris, July 16, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The French government has called on young people to help boost security across France by joining the special “operational reserve” following a deadly attack in the city of Nice that killed 84 people.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Saturday, “I want to call on all French patriots who wish to do so to join this operational reserve.”

The operational reserve is a French police force that currently has 12,000 volunteers aged between 17 and 30.

The Nice terrorist attack on Thursday night was the third act of terror in France in 18 months. During the attack, an individual identified as Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel plowed with his truck through a crowd of people celebrating the French national day in Nice, brutally killing 84 people and wounding 300 others.

The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group later claimed responsibility for the attack and said the 31-year-old driver of the truck was a member of the terror group. However, there is speculation that Daesh may have sought to claim a high-profile attack without really having been linked to it, particularly as the assailant had had a history of psychological disturbances and is not known to have been in contact with Daesh.

A man reacts as he sits in front of a makeshift memorial placed on the road for the victims of the recent terrorist attack in Nice, July 17, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

The French government has faced criticism over the security breakdown that allows such attacks.

Last November, assailants struck at least six different venues in and around the French capital, Paris, leaving 130 people dead and over 350 others injured. Daesh claimed responsibility for those assaults.

In January 2015, Daesh assailants also killed 17 people in attacks in the French capital.

Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, has defended the state of security and said France has faced a “new kind of attack” that highlighted the “extreme difficulty of the anti-terrorism fight.”

He said the driver “had not been known to the intelligence services because he did not stand out... by being linked” with a radical ideology.

France is observing three days of national mourning in tribute to the victims of the deadly Nice massacre.

The European country has been in a state of emergency since the November attacks last year.

Two suspects arrested

Meanwhile, police have made two more arrests in Nice in connection with the terror attack.

A judicial source said that a man and a woman were arrested on Sunday as part of an investigation into the Thursday attack.

Five other people have also been arrested and are already in custody. Lahouaiej-Bouhlel’s wife was also among those arrested.

A source close to the investigation also said that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had visited the Nice promenade with his truck twice before carrying out the attack.

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