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article imageFrench president says Paris safe for 2024 Olympics

By AFP     Oct 2, 2016 in World

French President Francois Hollande said Sunday that Paris, a target of devastating terrorism, would guarantee the security of athletes if it hosted the 2024 Olympics.

"We can guarantee the security of the athletes, it is our major priority and a prior condition we must offer to athletes from all over the world, " said Hollande in a speech at a reception for visiting International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

France has been repeatedly targeted by Islamic extremists in the last two years, with Paris witnessing the bloody assault on the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in January 2015 followed by a rampage by gunmen in the city in November.

Last month a plot to blow up a car packed with explosives near Notre Dame cathedral was foiled.

"I don't know what the world will look like in 2024, but it will be just as dangerous. And no country can think it will be protected, immune," said Hollande.

He said that France, which hosted the Euro 2016 football tournament without major security incident, had been forced by events to make preparations that no other country would match.

France is up against rival bids from Los Angeles and Budapest to host the 2024 Olympics.

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