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FRANCE

Tight security for French presidential election deciding round

Police outside a Paris polling station during the first round of the French presidential election
Police outside a Paris polling station during the first round of the French presidential election Reuterss/Christian Hartmann

More than 50,000 police and gendarmes are to be deployed across France for Sunday's deciding round of the country's presidential election. A former soldier who had sworn allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) was arrested near a military airbase early on Friday morning.

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France is still under a state of emergency following the November 2015 terror attacks and the police will work with soldiers mobilised under the anti-terrorist Opération Sentinelle to ensure there is no violence at the 66,546 polling stations.

Some 12,000 will be on duty in the Ile de France region around Paris.

They will also try to ensure calm after the result is announced.

Several hundred demonstrators protested against the result on the evening of the second round, some clashed with police.

Six police officers and three demonstrators were injured and 143 people arrested.

Former soldier arrested near airbase

A 34-year-old former soldier and Muslim convert was arrested early Friday near a military airbase at Evreux, about 100 kilometres from Paris.

A pledge of allegiance to IS found on a USB key in his car.

IS flags were also found in the vehicle and a pump-action shotgun was hidden nearby.

Investigators say they are trying to establish whether he was about to stage an attack or reconnoitring the area.

A riot broke out on a housing estate in Massy, near Paris, on Friday night, following the death of a 17-year-old who had been hospitalised after fleeing police during the afternoon.

An inquiry has been opened to establish the circumstances of his death.

Police say the teenager was riding a motorbike without a helmet and collided with a bus while driving at high speed.

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