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Thursday, 05 August 2021

French leader to eye security all summer; Chunnel backs up

AP , Saturday 23 Jul 2016
French President Francois Hollande delivers a speech during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the energy transition law, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 22, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

French President Francois Hollande will reassess security measures once a week all summer amid fears of new violence after a deadly Bastille Day attack in Nice, and heightened French security checks were causing severe delays Saturday for those trying to cross the English Channel.

Government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said after French leadership meeting Saturday that officials are focusing on "adapting itself in all domains" to the evolving threat. At the meeting, the French government also discussed the shooting attack on a Munich shopping center that left 10 dead, including the shooter, and expressed support for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's government.

French investigators are still trying to determine whether the Tunisian driver who killed 84 people in Nice on July 14 had direct ties to the Islamic State group, which claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hollande increased military support for Iraq in its fight against IS extremists as a result of the Nice attack, and French lawmakers extended a state of emergency in place since the deadly Nov. 13 Islamic State attacks on Paris.

Severe delays into France via the English port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel were slowing travel Saturday at the peak of the summer vacation season, when many British families visit Europe by car. Kent Police warned that some motorists were facing delays of eight hours before arriving at the port. Police distributed water to some who had been stuck in their cars for hours.

The backups were so bad that some travelers got out of their vehicles to sunbathe, walk their dogs, or allow their young children to stretch and play.

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