November 18, 2015 11:07:47 am
Europe was on high alert on Wednesday after video showed a ninth man may have taken part in the Paris attacks, as France and Russia formed an unusual alliance against Islamic State jihadists who claimed the bloodshed.
Police are hunting the newest suspect believed to be involved in carnage that killed at least 129 people, after footage showed a third man in a car used by gunmen who opened fire at bars and restaurants in central Paris.
It is not clear if this ninth man is one of two suspected accomplices detained in Belgium or is on the run, potentially with 26-year-old fugitive Frenchman Salah Abdeslam who carried out one of the attacks at Bonne Biere cafe along with his suicide-bomber brother Brahim.
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French President Francois Hollande today will hold a meeting to discuss proposals to extend the state of emergency declared after the worst attacks in French history for three months. It will then be put to vote by lawmakers tomorrow and Friday.
In a sign of the nervousness gripping Europe after Friday’s carnage, a football match between Germany and the Netherlands was cancelled yesterday and the crowd evacuated after police acted on a “serious” bomb threat.
The friendly match in the northern German city of Hanover had been intended as a “symbol of freedom” after the shooting spree and suicide bombings in Paris.
“We received a serious indication that a bomb attack was planned inside the stadium tonight,” Hanover police chief Volker Kluwe told German broadcaster ARD.
As police in both France and Belgium stepped up the hunt for the fugitives, French and Russian jets pounded IS targets in the group’s Syrian stronghold of Raqa for a third consecutive day.
France and Russia have vowed merciless retaliation for the Paris attacks and last month’s bombing of a Russian airliner, also claimed by the Islamic State group, which have galvanised international resolve to destroy the jihadists and end Syria’s more than four-year civil war.
“It’s necessary to establish direct contact with the French and work with them as allies,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said as France prepared to send an aircraft carrier to the eastern Mediterranean.
Hollande will meet Putin in Moscow on November 26, two days after seeing US President Barack Obama in Washington.
In grieving France, police racked up arrests and seized weapons as they searched for clues after the wave of coordinated attacks by gunmen and suicide bombers on a stadium, bars and restaurants, and a concert venue that have shaken the country to its core.
Police have issued the photograph of one of the three men who blew themselves up outside the Stade de France, who investigators have established entered Europe through Greece, as hundreds of thousands of refugees have done this year.
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