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2016年7月17日 (日)

仏車突入テロ 祝祭を標的にした新手の蛮行

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Using truck as a terror weapon during celebrations a heinous act
仏車突入テロ 祝祭を標的にした新手の蛮行

It was an unforgivable, heinous act of terrorism that targeted people celebrating Bastille Day, which commemorates the French Revolution and is France’s most important holiday.

A heavy truck drove onto a promenade in Nice, a Mediterranean resort city in southeastern France, traveling about two kilometers while mowing down a crowd of people watching fireworks. The attack took the lives of many people, including children.

The driver was shot dead after exchanging fire with police officers. According to sources, he was identified as a 31-year-old Tunisian-born Frenchman who lived in Nice. He had a criminal record of theft, but was not under police surveillance.

This attack is categorized as a mass murder on a soft target — the man chose a lightly guarded place where large numbers of the general public gather. What makes the matter even more serious is the fact the incident was caused by a new type of “weapon” — a truck, which is relatively easy to acquire.

The French government began investigating the incident after concluding it was a terrorist attack. We hope the government will swiftly discover the overall picture of the situation, including the background and the man’s motive.

The attack dealt an immeasurable blow to France.

“France was hit on its National Day, July 14, the symbol of freedom,” French President Francois Hollande said, while expressing his resolve not to succumb to terrorism. We believe he made his remarks with the significance of the French Revolution — the people’s revolution in the 18th century — in mind.

Difficulty ensuring security

France had just finished hosting the European Championship soccer tournament under heavy security, and was scheduled to lift a state of emergency late this month, which was imposed after the November coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris.

The fact that a major terrorist attack took place at such a time in a regional city underscored the difficulty of ensuring security.

“The whole of France is under the threat of Islamist terrorism,” Hollande said.

The French government will extend the state of emergency for another three months, and tighten its security through such measures as calling up its military reserves. It is also important to review the nation’s program of surveillance of an estimated several thousand potential terrorists.

The European Union nations agreed to reinforce their public security cooperation at a summit meeting last month. The aftershock of Britain’s decision to exit from the EU should not stall the organization’s efforts against terrorism.

It was totally appropriate for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is in Mongolia to participate in a summit meeting of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), to say, “Despicable acts of terrorism that involve innocent people are absolutely unforgivable.” Other world leaders also sent a string of messages expressing their unity with France’s fight against terrorism.

In Bangladesh, the attack by gunmen that took place earlier this month at a restaurant made it clear that terrorism caused by Islamic extremists is also spreading in Asia.

The ASEM meeting should be utilized as an opportunity to deepen cooperation on measures against terrorism between Asia and Europe.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 16, 2016)


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« Emperor Akihito expresses intention to abdicate: gov't source | トップページ | アジア欧州会議 中国は国際法に背を向けるな »