'State of Emergency' extended in France until early 2017

The moves comes following the recent attack in Nice

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Image: Claude Paris / AP/Press Association Images

France's National Assembly has voted to extend the country's state of emergency for a further six months following last week's attack in Nice.

The measures have been in place since last November following the mass shootings in Paris that left 130 people dead.

The state of emergency is designed to be used in "cases of imminent danger resulting from serious breaches of public order, or in case of events threatening, by their nature and gravity, public disaster” and gives a number of exceptional powers to French authorities.

These include the right to impose curfews, limit the movement of people, and prevent mass gatherings. Security services and police also gain extra powers to conduct house searches at any time, enforce house arrests and confiscate certain weapons.

A state of emergency can be put in place immediately by the French president for a maximum of 12 days but requires parliamentary approval to be extended for a longer period of time.

The most recent measures have previously been extended three times, with a further extension agreed in the early hours of this morning by the National Assembly.

Once the move is approved by the Senate it will see the extra measures remain in place until the end of January 2017. The last extension was granted to cover the Tour de France and Euro 2016 football tournament.

The Prime Minister Manuel Valls called for national unity as he presented the emergency rule bill overnight:

"We must remain united and focused because we must be strong in the face of this threat," he said.

"Populism stalks us, ready to pounce at any opportunity, to blow on the embers of discord and exacerbate divisions, as every new division makes us more vulnerable."

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