Over 10,000 troops deployed in France to protect Jewish sites

Published January 13th, 2015 - 09:38 GMT

French leaders deployed more than 10,000 troops and thousands of police officers in an unprecedented move to protect Jewish schools, synagogues and other areas following the deadly terrorist attacks last week.

Beginning Tuesday night, troops will be located in vulnerable areas, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.The deployment marks the first time French troops have been used in such a large scale in the country.

"It's the first time in the history of France" that the army has been used in such a way, French army Col. Benoit Brulen told The Washington Post. "But it's an indication of the level of menace we face."

President Francois Hollande decided to use the military force following a crisis meeting early Monday. Officials said there is still a threat to the area. Nearly half of the troops, some 4,700, will be sent to protect the country's 717 Jewish schools.

After terrorists killed 12 at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo's office, a policewoman was slain on the street and four hostages were killed in a related siege at a kosher market. All three attackers were killed Friday in raids by security forces.

"I'm glad the soldiers are here. But the fact they're here means something is very wrong," a school director told the Post. "We'd all prefer to live freely."

By Amy R. Connolly


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