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Extremists may strike with chemical, bio arms: French leader

PARIS (AP) - With France still reeling from last week's deadly attacks in Paris, Prime Minister Manual Valls warned Thursday that Islamic extremists might at some point use chemical or biological weapons, and urged lawmakers to extend a national state of emergency by three months.

“Terrorism hit France not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria ... but for what it is,'' Valls told the lower house of Parliament.  He added, "We know that there could also be a risk of chemical or biological weapons.''

Valls did not say there was a specific threat involving such weapons.

In neighboring Belgium, where many of the Paris attackers lived, Prime Minister Charles Michel on Thursday announced a package of additional anti-terror measures, and said 400 million euros ($427 million) would be earmarked to expand the fight.

He told lawmakers that security personnel will be increased and special attention will be paid to eradicating messages of hate. He also called for more international cooperation, and said he wants to amend the Belgian constitution to extend the length of time terror suspects can be held by police without charge.

“All democratic forces have to work together to strengthen our security,'' Michel said.

The French Interior Ministry and Paris prosecutor's office, meanwhile, said it still remains unclear whether the suspected mastermind of last week's attacks, in which 129 people were killed and hundreds of others wounded, has been killed or is still at large.

Officials said authorities are working on determining whether 27-year-old Belgian Abdelhamid Abaaoud was among those killed in a chaotic and bloody raid on an apartment in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis on Wednesday.

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