France wants to bring the United States and Russia together in a grand coalition dedicated to smashing the Islamic State group, President Francois Hollande told lawmakers Monday in a rare joint session in the Palace of Versailles as authorities worldwide struggled to pinpoint those responsible for the deadliest attacks on French soil since World War II.
“The faces of the dead people, of the wounded, of the families don’t leave my mind,” Hollande declared after France and many allies observed a minute of silence in honor of the 129 killed and 350 wounded when Islamic State attackers targeted a soccer stadium, a rock concert and four nightspots Friday with assault gun fire and suicide bombs.
“In my determination to combat terrorism, I want France to remain itself. The barbarians who attack France would like to disfigure it. They will not make it change,” Hollande pledged. “They must never be able to spoil France’s soul.”
However, he signaled a likely monthslong security crackdown following security sweeps overnight in which police nationwide arrested 127 people and seized 31 weapons, including automatic firearms and a rocket launcher.
Read More: News from The Associated Press
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