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Hollande vows to crush Islamic State at homage to Paris attacks victims

French President Francois Hollande speaks at the ceremony at Les Invalides
French President Francois Hollande speaks at the ceremony at Les Invalides Reuters/Charles Platiau

President François Hollande on Friday pledged to crush the Islamic State (IS) armed group at a ceremony of national homage to the victims of the 13 November Paris attacks. France will remain the same country the victims loved, he said, adding a tribute to French youth.

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Hollande gave a "solemn promise" to do everything possible to "destroy the army of fanatics" that claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks in a 15-minute speech at the Invalides monument in Paris.

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France was "struck in its heart" by an "act of war organised at a distance" by a "horde of murderers" acting "in the name of an insane cause and a god they have betrayed", he went on.

They wished to "bury joy", the president said, but "we will not give on to fear or hatred ... there will be more songs, more concerts, shows, we will carry on going to [sports] stadiums".
"France will remain herself, as the deceased loved it and as they would have wished it to remain," Hollande declared.

Noting that the victims' average was 35, he said that this "rising generation" has become "the face of France".

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