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French government calls for extension of state of emergency ahead of Euro 2016

France says it wants to extend the state of emergency for another two months. The announcement comes amid terrorism concerns in the lead-up to the Euro 2016 soccer tournament.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday the government plans to extend the state of emergency put in place following the devastating terrorist attacks in Paris in November.

The move comes as the country gears up for the

European Championship soccer tournament,

which will be held in different cities around France starting on June 10.

"Faced with an event this big... which must take place in conditions of security and which at the same time should be a celebration...we have to ensure security," Valls said in a French radio interview, according to Reuters news agency.

Third extension

This extension would be the third since

the initial state of emergency was imposed on November 13

. Under the temporary measures, police can place suspects under house arrest without a court order and conduct searches without court approval.

The state of emergency

has drawn fire from some human rights groups and activists

as well as the Council of Europe, with some critics accusing police of committing abuses during their searches.

In January, when France was planning to extend the measures for the second time, thousands of people took to the streets in protest. The government went through with the plan and re-enacted the state of emergency in early February. The measures last for two months.

blc/jil (Reuters, AP)

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