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World News

Mosques in two French cities under police protection after threats

PARIS (Reuters) - French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Wednesday he had asked local authorities to put mosques in the cities of Bordeaux and Beziers in southwestern France under police protection following threats or acts of violence.

“Such actions are unacceptable on the soil of the Republic,” the minister said in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.

France bleu radio reported on its website late on Tuesday that leaders of the Ar-Rahma mosque in Beziers had filed a complaint with police following hate messages on Facebook, including a call to set the mosque on fire.

The threats come just days after a Chechen teenager beheaded a French history teacher for showing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in class in a middle school northwest of Paris.

France bleu displayed a Facebook message, which has since been deleted, urging that homage be paid to the murdered teacher by torching the Beziers mosque.

Prime Minister Jean Castex told parliament on Tuesday that France was in need of a law against endangering the lives of others via social media networks.

Reporting by Geert de Clercq and Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Gareth Jones and Bernadette Baum

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