France's lower house approves state of emergency extension

France's lower house approved early Wednesday an extension to the state of emergency, prolonging extraordinary security measures for six more months after an attack in Nice last week left 84 people dead.

Voting early in the morning after a drawn-out debate in the National Assembly, 489 lawmakers were in favour of the extension, 26 against and four abstained.

The Senate was due to debate the extension later Wednesday, and French media reported that conservative politicians there were expected to further toughen the measures.

The debate in the lower house began on Tuesday evening and lasted approximately seven hours.

An extension to the state of emergency would be the fourth such vote since the measures were enacted after terrorist attacks around Paris last November that targeted in part a national stadium and concert hall and left 130 people dead.

The government had said it was seeking a three-month extension to the measures, including a reintroduction of some of the harsher rules that had been phased out during the last extension through the summer sporting events, but it said it was open to extending for six months.

Acrimony over whether the government has done enough to protect France from the threat posed by terrorism has led to deep divisions since the attack in Nice, the third largescale terrorist attack on French soil in 19 months.

Last update: Wed, 20/07/2016 - 12:28

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