On Heels of Toulouse, France Nabs 19 in Raids

Round-up of suspected Islamic militants will continue, Sarkozy vows
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2012 6:42 AM CDT
French President and candidate Nicolas Sarkozy gestures as he delivers a speech during a campaign meeting in Nantes, western France, Tuesday, March 27, 2012.   (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
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(Newser) – French police today rounded up 19 people believed to be Islamic militants, just eight days after Mohamed Merah died after a 32-hour stand-off with authorities, reports the New York Times. Police raided homes in Paris, Toulouse, Nantes, and in the south and west of France, though they announced no direct link to Merah. Instead, they emphasized that the arrests were done to dismantle networks of people sympathetic to militant Islam.

"What must be understood is that the trauma of Montauban and Toulouse is profound for our country, a little—I don’t want to compare the horrors—a little like the trauma that followed in the United States and in New York after the September 11, 2001 attacks," said Nicolas Sarkozy. He added that the arrests would continue and "a certain number of people" would be expelled from France.

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