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After terror attacks, France calls on ‘young patriotic citizens’ to become military reservists

FRANCE MAIN

PARIS: French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Saturday called on young citizens to become reservists and help boost security forces in the wake of the country’s latest terror attack.

France’s “operational reservists” include French citizens with or without military experience as well as former soldiers.

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

His call comes after the government has been criticised for not doing more to stop attacks.

The Islamic State group has said it was behind Thursday’s truck massacre in Nice which left 84 people dead and many more injured.

It was the third major Islamist attack which France has suffered in the past 18 months.

French President Francois Hollande said Friday that the new reservists would be called upon to boost the ranks of police and gendarmes.

Details of how to become a reservist were swiftly posted on the national gendarmerie’s website.

Volunteers must be between 17 and 30 years of age, have the right physical and moral aptitude and undergo military training.

They will only be required during the summer period, while the regular reservists are on holiday, said Cazeneuve.

The operational reserve is currently made up of 12,000 volunteers, 9,000 of whom are within the paramilitary police and 3,000 in the regular police force, said Cazeneuve.

“We are going to reinforce the presence of security forces across the country,” he added.

He said the number of security forces deployed to protect the population was nearly 100,000, including 53,000 police, 36,000 para-military police and 10,000 soldiers.

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