France increases security presence in wake of attacks
After a fatal attack at the Paris office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and associated violent acts that occurred in France during the week of January 5, that country has been in a state of high alert. The shooting at Charlie Hebdo caused twelve deaths, the first of a group of 17 fatalities caused by extremists who fought back against what they viewed as the defiling of their religion. A hostage situation at a Paris kosher grocery store led to four further deaths, and a French policewoman was killed between the two larger incidents, CNN reported.
"More than 40 world leaders, including those of Germany and Italy, joined French President Francois Hollande in a march that showed a united front."
High turnout at rallies
Viewed by French officials as acts of terrorism, the incidents didn't stop a massive turnout of French citizens, residents and visitors at rallies during the weekend. Voice of America reported the presence of approximately 4 million people turning out throughout the country, with hundreds of thousands making their presence known in Paris. More than 40 world leaders, including those of Germany and Italy, joined French President Francois Hollande in a march that showed a united front against the actions taken by terrorists. The French government reported the turnout was the largest for any sort of public gathering or demonstration.
Along with demonstrating an unbroken attitude during the weekend demonstrations, the country also significantly increased the security presence in its cities. CNN said approximately 10,000 members of the French military have been deployed to various locations to dissuade further attacks. Additionally, thousands of police officers have been sent out to help in the same duty. With one of the four attackers of the Charlie Hebdo office still unaccounted for, the mobilization is a prudent and practical move.
The logistics and risks
For companies that do business in France or have relationships with organizations in that country, the attacks and the response highlight the need for strong crisis management practices and tools. Keeping staff appraised of violent incidents near their locations is obviously important, but it's not the only concern that has to be addressed. The rallies held over the weekend presented significant logistical challenges for companies that had to operate during that time. The possibility of future attacks means reliable, current reporting on the situation is vital for successful operations. Granular, situation-specific information is vital for businesses that want to maintain continuity in such areas.
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