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Europe

Nearly 1,000 prevented from entering France since Paris attacks

media French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve with police officers conducting security control at the French-German border in Strasbourg Reuters

Nearly 1,000 people have been stopped from entering Franc since border controls were reestablished following the 13 November Paris attacks, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Saturday. Nearly 2,000 premises have been searched and 34 "hate preachers" were in the process of being deported, he said.

"Nearly 1,000 people have been prevented from entering the territory because these people could constitute a danger to public order and our country's security," Cazeneuve said on a visit to Strasbourg, where he was opening the traditional Christmas market, which is heavily guarded this year for fear of attacks.

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Almost 15,000 police officers, gendarmes and customs officers have been placed on border control duty, with the tightest security on the eastern frontier, he said.

The measure is in breach of the principles of the Schengen no-passport zone but is allowed in exceptional circumstances and the government said that tighter security was urgent, especially ahead of the Cop21 climate change conference starting Sunday.

Cazeneuve accused Front National leader Marine Le Pen of lying following a speech on Friday in which she laid into the government's record on security.

No hardline Salafist mosques have been closed, no imam preaching hatred has been deported and nobody has been stripped of their nationality since the attacks, the far-right politician claimed.

Cazeneuve said that procedures to deport hate preachers had started even befor the January Charlie Hebdo attacks and that 34 cases were being examined.

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Five people have been deprived of French nationality and two mosques closed since a state of emergency was declared on 14 November, he said, adding that nearly 2,000 premises have been searched, 300 people placed under house arrest, 212 people have been detained and 318 weapons seized.

Earlier in the week mainstream right-wing leader Nicolas Sarkozy said that France had "waited too long" for the lessons of the January attacks to be learnt.

Cazeneuve also responded to left-wingers who have criticised the house arrest of 24 ecology activists under the provisions of the state of emergency.

The minister claimed that they had been involved in "violent actions" during demonstrations in the past and had declared that they would not respect the state of emergency.

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