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Post-attacks France urges elite police units to end rivalries
[PARIS] France's interior minister on Tuesday urged the country's elite police forces to end their traditional rivalries following November's jihadist attacks on Paris that claimed 130 lives.
"The time is over for rivalry among forces, it's time for unity," Bernard Cazeneuve told members of the GIGN paramilitary police, an elite RAID unit of the national police and the BRI anti-gang brigade of the Paris police.
"In the face of enemies who are determined to attack us while causing the most damage possible, with no desire to negotiate and whose own deaths are part of their philosophy and strategy, we need effective forces... working together towards the same goals," Mr Cazeneuve said.
Rivalry among the three forces has been known to complicate operations as well as investigations.
The traditional areas of operation - gendarmes in rural areas and police in urban centres - will be waived during serious crises or major attacks, Cazeneuve said.
"In the event of mass killings, it's in the first minutes that the terrorists claim the greatest number of victims," Mr Cazeneuve said.
"So we must react as quickly as possible, as well as anticipating such an attack."
Mr Cazeneuve also announced that new branches of GIGN and RAID will be set up around the country and BRI's 100-strong staff will be doubled.
The reforms were to stand their first test later Tuesday with a joint exercise at the Montparnasse rail station in Paris.