Hollande urges 'utmost vigilance' after weekend attacks

Hollande urges 'utmost vigilance' after weekend attacks
French President Francois Hollande

PARIS - French President Francois Hollande called Monday on authorities to exercise the "utmost vigilance" after two men reportedly shouting "Allahu Akbar" committed brutal weekend attacks against police and passers-by in separate towns.

Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, the president also urged the French not to "panic", government spokesman Stephane Le Foll told reporters.

France is reeling from the attacks, which saw a man killed Saturday when he assaulted police officers in the central town of Joue-les-Tours and a driver plough into pedestrians Sunday in Dijon in the east, leaving 13 injured.

Both men reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest") - an Islamic phrase that has previously been used by extremists when waging violent attacks - prompting speculation the assaults were motivated by radical Islam.

But Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Monday urged people to show restraint and calm, and not to jump to conclusions.

Speaking about the second attacker in Dijon, a former psychiatric patient who was arrested after his rampage Sunday, he said his "motives are not established."

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