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paris march


More than 40 world leaders and 3.7 million people have taken part in unity marches across France after 17 people died during three days of deadly attacks in Paris.

Up to 1.6 million are estimated to have taken to the streets of Paris.

World leaders joined the start of the Paris march, linking arms in an act of solidarity.

The marchers wanted to demonstrate unity after the attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, police officers, and kosher supermarket HyperCacher.

The French government said the rally turnout was the highest on record.

The rally, led by relatives of the victims of last week’s attacks, began at the Place de la Republique and concluded in the Place de la Nation.

Several other French cities also held rallies. The interior ministry said turnout across France was at least 3.7 million, including up to 1.6 million in Paris – where sheer numbers made an exact tally difficult.

World leaders, including UK PM David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, EU President Donald Tusk, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II joined the beginning of the Paris march.

Photo RT

Photo RT

“Paris is the capital of the world today,” French President Francois Hollande said.

The leaders observed a minute’s silence before the march began.

About 2,000 police officers and 1,350 soldiers – including elite marksmen on rooftops – were deployed in the capital to protect participants.

The Paris march was split into two routes for security purposes.

Marchers chanted “liberte” (“freedom”) and “Charlie”, in reference to Charlie Hebdo magazine.

Some waved French flags, cheered, and sang the national anthem.

Solidarity marches were also held in world cities including London, Madrid, Cairo, Montreal, Beirut, Sydney and Tokyo.

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Some 40 world leaders are expected in Paris ahead of a huge march to show unity after three days of terror that left 17 people dead.

The rally is expected to dwarf Saturday’s marches that saw 700,000 take to the streets.

About 2,000 police officers and 1,350 soldiers are being deployed across Paris to protect marchers.

Police are seeking accomplices of the gunmen who attacked Charlie Hebdo magazine and HyperCacher supermarket.

The interior minister says France will stay on high alert in the coming weeks.

Bernard Cazeneuve will host a meeting on Sunday morning of fellow interior ministers from across Europe to discuss the threat posed by militants.

He promised “exceptional measures” for the massive unity march in Paris on January 11, including positioning snipers on roofs.

The foreign leaders expected to attend the rally include UK PM David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

The march, which will be led by relatives of the victims of last week’s attacks, will leave Place de la Republique at 15:00 local time.

Photo AFP

Photo AFP

More than a million people are expected to take part.

Before the march, President Francois Hollande will meet leaders from the Jewish community, which is still in shock after a gunman killed four people at the kosher supermarket in eastern Paris on January 9.

The gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, is believed to have shot dead a policewoman the day before.

In a separate attack on January 7, the Kouachi brothers raided the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Cherif and Said Kouachi killed 12 people – including eight journalists and two police officers – in the attack. Eleven people were also injured.

Amedy Coulibaly and the Kouachi brothers were shot dead on January 9 after police ended two separate sieges.

Police are still hunting for accomplices of the three gunmen, including Hayat Boumeddiene, Amedy Coulibaly’s partner. However, officials in Turkey believe she may have travelled through the country en route to Syria earlier last week.

Meanwhile, police in Germany say there has been an arson attack at the offices of a newspaper that reprinted Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

No-one was hurt in the assault on the Hamburg Morning Post in the early hours of January 11, according to reports.

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