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Terror groups call for Hollande's assassination

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Terror groups call for Hollande's assassination
An Islamic extremist group is calling on would-be terrorists to kill the French president. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP
12:15 CET+01:00
A well-known Al-Qaeda linked website called on "lone wolf" terrorists to assassinate President François Hollande and attack France in revenge for the country's military interventions in Africa.

The al Minbar Jihadi Media Network created a series of posters aimed at inciting would-be terrorists to take up arms in retaliation to France’s fight against Islamist rebels in Mali and the Central African Republic, according to SITE, an Islamic extremist website monitoring service.

"To our lone-wolves in France, assassinate the president of disbelief and criminality, terrify his cursed government, and bomb them and scare them as a support to the vulnerable in the Central African Republic," one of the posters said, according to Reuters news service.

French officials have not announced whether these threats will draw the type of heavy military response that similar threats drew last year. In January 2013 the French government deployed some 700 soldiers on the streets of Paris after Islamist extremists called for attacks in retaliation to France's intervention in Mali.

The new threats are also spurred by France using its military to check Islamist insurgents in Africa. France has some 2,000 soldiers in the Central African Republic which have helped push back Islamic ‘seleka’ rebels after they seized power a year ago.

Hollande’s government has not set a hard deadline for when it may withdraw its troops. But the president has implied French soldiers will stay until the threat has passed.

In January 2013 France led an attack that pushed back Islamist fighters who had seized control in Northern Mali. Though driven out, the principal groups still carry out occasional attacks and have taken up kidnapping and killing French nationals.

Last year leaders of the militant Islamist groups under attack in the West African state warned that France has "opened the doors of hell" by unleashing its warplanes and called on fellow extremists to hit back on French soil.

France reduced the presence of the military on its streets once it was decided that the threat level had rescinded.

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