French lower house of parliament votes to extend state of emergency
Reuters, , Wednesday 14 Dec 2016

The French lower house of parliament voted early on Wednesday to extend the country's state of emergency until July 15, 2017, as France remains on high alert against the threat of terror attacks.

The extension of the state of emergency had already been proposed on Dec. 10 by France's new prime minister, Bernard Cazeneuve. Political parties are keen to show they are getting a grip on the threat of attacks as France prepares for presidential elections in 2017.

France's upper house Senate will also review the measures on Thursday.

The socialist government imposed the state of emergency - which gives police extended powers to search and arrest - in November last year after attacks by Islamist militants in Paris that killed 130 people.

The state of emergency, which was originally due to end in mid-January, has already been extended four times because the government considers that the risk of armed attacks by Islamist militants remains high.