October 12, 2016 7:24 am

France creates National Guard to improve security

FILE - In this July 15, 2016 file photo, forensic officers stand near a truck with its windscreen riddled with bullets that plowed through a crowd of revelers who'd gathered to watch the fireworks in the French resort city of Nice, southern France. French authorities have made eight new arrests in connection with the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice that left 86 people dead, the Paris prosecutor's office said on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Claude Paris, File)

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PARIS – France’s government has approved a decree creating a National Guard to bolster security against extremist attacks across the country.

READ MORE: Airport security tightened in France since Paris attacks

The Cabinet adopted the measure during its weekly meeting on Wednesday.

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The Guard, which is expected to reach 84,000 people by 2018, is a new, enhanced version of the existing reserve forces. Following Nov. 13 attacks in Paris last year, President Francois Hollande proposed creation of the force to include citizens willing to get involved in serving their country.

READ MORE: Charlie Hebdo, Paris, Nice: Why is France such a prime target for extremists?

Guard members tasks will vary from patrolling the streets of big cities to securing major sport and festive events to working in military staff offices.

Regular military and police reserves are currently composed of 63,000 people.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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