Millions gather for Paris anti-terror rally

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Paris, Jan 11: Millions of people gathered at Paris' Place de la Republique square Sunday amid tight security for a "historic" anti-terror rally through the streets of the French capital which was expected to be joined by over 50 world leaders.

The Paris daily The Local said the flags of several countries were being waved in the crowd which was expected to swell to a million by when the rally was slated to begin in the evening.

Paris rally

About 2,000 police officers and 1,350 soldiers, including elite marksmen on rooftops, have been deployed to protect those taking part in the rally, said a BBC report.

It added that more than a million marchers were expected to participate in the anti-terror rally, dwarfing marches across France Saturday when 700,000 people took to the streets.

"Today Paris is the capital of the world," French President Francois Hollande said Sunday. He will join the leaders from Britain, Spain and Italy besides Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

Hollande called on as many French people as possible to join him and "rise up" against terrorism.

The terrorist attacks started Wednesday when two brothers killed 12 people and injured 11 others, and targeted the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

An associate of the brothers, Amedy Coulibaly, killed a French policewoman Thursday and held a number of people hostage in a Jewish grocery store in Paris Friday.

Coulibaly was killed Friday, as were the two brothers. Four hostages also died at the Jewish grocery store.

IANS

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