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French Government to Create National Guard to Protect Citizens From Terrorism

© REUTERS / Ian Langsdon/PoolFrench President Francois Hollande (R) and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian review troops at the Army base and command centre for France's 'Vigipirate' plan, dubbed 'Operation Sentinelle', at the fort of Vincennes, on the outskirts of Paris, France, July 25, 2016
French President Francois Hollande (R) and Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian review troops at the Army base and command centre for France's 'Vigipirate' plan, dubbed 'Operation Sentinelle', at the fort of Vincennes, on the outskirts of Paris, France, July 25, 2016 - Sputnik International
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French President Francois Hollande decided to establish the National Guard from the existing operating reserves, according to the statement of the Elysee Palace.

A policeman secures a position in front of the city hall after two assailants had taken five people hostage in the church at Saint-Etienne-du -Rouvray near Rouen in Normandy, France, July 26, 2016. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — French President Francois Hollande announced plans to create the National Guard to protect the country's citizens, amid the increased terrorist threat on French soil, the Elysee Palace said in a statement Thursday.

According to the statement, the decision was taken after Hollande's meeting with the lawmakers.

"President of the Republic [Hollande] decided to establish the National Guard from the existing operating reserves," the statement reads. He also expressed the intention to "as soon as possible begin the establishment of this structure, which would serve to protect the French people."

A Republican Guard lowers the French national flag at half-mast at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 15, 2016, the day after the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice. - Sputnik International
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The president will inform the French Defense and Security Council of the plan to establish the National Guard at the beginning of August and the conditions of its creation will be discussed in parliamentary committees in September, according to the statement.

France has been recently hit by a series of terrorist attacks. On July 14, a truck rammed into a large crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, killing at least 84 people, including children, and injuring hundreds of others. The most recent attack took place on July 26, when two armed men took five people hostage at the Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray church in Normandy, killing a priest. Islamic State terrorist group, outlawed in Russia and numerous countries, claimed responsibility for both attacks.

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