- Title: France soldier attack raises questions on army's strain under emergency rule
- Date: 10th August 2017
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - MAY 3, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF "OPERATION SENTINELLE" SOLDIERS PATROLLING WITH EIFFEL TOWER IN BACKGROUND
- Embargoed: 24th August 2017 13:29
- Keywords: Operation Sentinelle soldiers France military patrolling Levallois-Perret Orly airport Louvre attack
- Location: PARIS, LEVALLOIS-PERRET & ORLY, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, LEVALLOIS-PERRET & ORLY, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security
- Reuters ID: LVA0016TKQCZR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: An attack on a group of soldiers in a wealthy Paris suburb on Wednesday (August 9) has raised questions about the strain on the army under emergency rule, which has been in place in France since Islamist attacks in 2015.
An Algerian national is suspected of ploughing into a group of soldiers as they began a morning patrol in the upscale neighbourhood of Levallois-Perret.
Six of the soldiers were injured, three of them seriously.
They were part of Operation Sentinelle, a 7,000-strong force launched in the wake of attacks on the editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo in January 2015.
The attack was the sixth on troops belonging to the force, with opponents to the operation saying it is overstretching the army, reducing time between operational rotations, depriving regiments of time for training for foreign deployments and hurting morale. Some say the troops are sitting ducks for would-be militants.
Supporters of Operation Sentinelle, which costs hundreds of millions of euros a year, say the force has served as a deterrent and given French citizens and tourists greater peace of mind.
Jacques Bessy, president of the Association for the Defence of Soldiers' Rights, acknowledged the strains placed on the military but said the mission was essential.
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