PARIS - French security forces stepped up security at public places for the Christmas holiday season on Tuesday after three separate acts of violence in three days left about 30 wounded and reignited fears of attacks by Islamist radicals.
Late on Monday, a man rammed a van into a crowded Christmas market in the western city of Nantes, wounding 10 shoppers including two seriously, before stabbing himself with a knife. He survived and is being questioned by police. That came a day after a man shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest") injured 13 in a similar attack in the eastern city of Dijon. On Saturday, an attacker, also yelling "Allahu Akbar", was shot after stabbing three police officers in central France.
"What we are seeing with events in Dijon and Nantes is that they are creating copy-cat reactions," Prime Minister Manuel Valls said after ordering the deployment of 200 to 300 extra soldiers for patrols in zones such as Paris's Champs-Elysees avenue and main shopping districts.
Some 780 soldiers have already been deployed to security patrols.
Valls said France had "never before faced such a high threat linked to terrorism".