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France on high alert for Islamic State reprisals after killing of al-Baghdadi

France's interior minister Christophe Castaner has told the country's security services to be even more vigilant .
France's interior minister Christophe Castaner has told the country's security services to be even more vigilant . AFP/CLement Mahoudeau

France's security services have been placed on high alert over possible reprisals following the death of the Islamic State armed group leader Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi.

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Interior minister Christophe Castaner said in an internal communique: "There might be an increase in jihadist propoganda calling for acts of vengeance. We must be extremely vigilant."

Al Baghdadi was killed during a raid led by special forces from the United States in north-western Syria on .

He was said to be behind a series of attacks in Iraq and Syria.

Castaner told police officers and gendarmes to be on their guard at public events and public spaces in the coming days.

Yves Lefebvre, the secretary general of SGP Police FO trade union, told RFI it was the first time the interior ministry had issued such a communique following the death of a high profile jihadist leader.

French president Emmanuel Macron said al-Baghdadi's death was a blow to his organisation. "But it is only a step," he added. "The battle continues with our international partners for the permanent defeat of this terrorist organisation."

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