Brussels attack: French president urges ‘global response’ to fight terrorism

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Paris, March 23 (IANS) French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday called for “a global response” to combat terrorism which was targeting at Europe in a series of “cowardly and heinous attacks” in Brussels.

“We are facing a global threat, so we need a global response. The war against terrorism must be conducted in all Europe and with the necessary means,” Xinhua quoted Hollande as saying.

“We have to ensure that decisions are effectively implemented,” he added in the wake of a series of deadly explosions which rocked Brussels earlier in the day.

The French president warned that the battle to eradicate terrorist cells “will be long”.

“The war against terrorism must be conducted calmly, with clarity and determination. We have to deploy the necessary means,” he said.

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Earlier on Tuesday, twin blasts hit Brussels airport, leaving at least 14 dead.

Another explosion hit a metro station close to the European Union institutions, killing 20 people and making other 106 passengers injured, triggering high alert to neighbour countries where security was reinforced.

“In these circumstances, the French government decided to further strengthen security measures, police units at borders, and in transport,” Hollande’s office said in a statement.

Speaking after a security meeting, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he had deployed a further 1,600 police to bolster security at its borders and on public transport.

The Brussels attacks came a few days after Belgian police captured Salah Abdeslam, a suspect of the Paris attacks on November 13 last year in which 130 people were killed.

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On Monday, Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon warned the country was on high alert for a possible terror attack in the wake of Abdeslam’s arrest.

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