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France hunts for attack accomplices, deploys 10,000 troops

Published:Tuesday | January 13, 2015 | 12:00 AM
This photo distributed by ZAKA Rescue and Recovery organization shows volunteers reciting prayers over the bodies, after they have been prepared for burial yesterday by the Jewish Burial Society in Paris.

FRANCE ORDERED 10,000 troops into the streets Monday to protect sensitive sites - nearly half of them to guard Jewish schools - as it hunted for accomplices to the Islamic militants who left 17 people dead as they terrorised the nation.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the search is urgent because "the threat is still present" after the attacks that began Wednesday with a massacre at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and ended when three attackers were killed Friday in two nearly simultaneous clashes with security forces around Paris.

By midday yesterday, Paris' Marais - one of the country's oldest Jewish neighbourhoods - was filled with police and soldiers. Some 4,700 of the security forces would be assigned to protect France's 717 Jewish schools, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.

"A little girl was telling me earlier that she wanted to live in peace and learn in peace in her school," Cazeneuve as on a visit to a Paris Jewish classroom, where the walls were covered with children's drawings of smiling faces.

"That's what the government, that's what the Republic, owes to all the children in France, security in all schools, especially in the schools that could be threatened," he added.

The children listened and waved both Israeli and French flags.

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the nationwide deployment of troops would be completed by Tuesday and would focus on the most sensitive locations.

"The work on these attacks, on these terrorist and barbaric acts continues ... because

we consider that there are

most probably some possible accomplices," Valls told BFM television.