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France 'ready to tackle terrorists'

France has said it is ready to prevent new terror attacks after its military operation to push back al-Qaida-linked insurgents from territory in Mali.

The country's interior minister Manuel Valls said France is well aware of the dangers of terror attacks both inside and outside the country, but believed the threat posed by the advance of the militant Islamist fighters was far greater.

Declaring France had "opened the gates of hell" with its assault, the rebels from the Sahel desert region that includes Mali have threatened retribution.

"France is watching individuals who want to go to Afghanistan, Syria and the Sahel. We're watching those who could return here," Mr Valls told the French television network BFM.

"We're facing an exterior enemy and an interior enemy."


From Belfast Telegraph