Millions Expected to March in Paris Today
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Millions of people are expected to join a march through Paris to honor the 17 people killed in attacks which targeted a satirical magazine, a kosher supermarket and police.
Dozens of world leaders have confirmed that they will join Sunday's march in support for France.
Thousands of police and troops have been deployed to beef up security ahead of the march, which comes after rallies across France on Saturday already drew more than 700,000 in support of the victims of the three-day killing spree.
Around 2,200 security personnel will guard the route of the march, which will run three kilometers from the historic Place de la Republique to Place de la Nation in the east of the capital, the interior minister said, with snipers stationed on rooftops.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were set to join, as well as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the king and queen of Jordan, Al Jazeera reported.
Public transport will be free to ease access into and throughout Paris and international train operator Thalys said it was also cutting fares to the French capital on Sunday.
The three gunmen responsible for the attacks were shot dead by police on Friday, with investigators trying to track down the girlfriend of one of them.
Despite earlier being described as "armed and dangerous", security sources later revealed that 26-year-old Hayat Boumeddiene was possibly out of France at the time of the killings.
Her partner Amedy Coulibaly shot dead a young policewoman on Thursday and then killed four hostages in a siege at a Jewish supermarket in Paris on Friday.
The chain of violence began on Wednesday with an attack on the office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that has published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and other religious figures. In that attack, Cherif and Said Kouachi shot dead 12 people including some of the country's best-known cartoonists.
Cherif told a French media outlet over the phone that he had been sent to carry out the attack by al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch, which has previously launched several attempts to attack western targets.
A senior member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed Wednesday's attack.
Security officials have not confirmed the claim but at least one of the Kouachi brothers was known to have been trained by the group in Yemen.
Sunday's rally "must show the power, the dignity of the French people who will be shouting out of love of freedom and tolerance", Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Saturday.