France calls up reserves to relieve tired security forces after Nice attack

People gather near flowers, candles and a stuffed toy as they pay tribute near the scene where a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, France, July 15, 2016. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

PARIS (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande will tap into France’s operational military reserve to relieve stretched security forces who have amassed overtime following three major Islamic militant attacks in France since January 2015.

Some 26,000 out of over 200,000 reserve forces in France are expected to be called up to reinforce gendarmes, police and army troops.

“I have called on the operational reserve, that is, all those who have once served in the forces,” Hollande said during a television broadcast early on Friday after the attack in Nice that killed 84 and left scores injured.

“We could deploy them to places where we need them, in particular at the borders,” he said.

Speaking later on Friday after a defense council meeting, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said some 26,274 gendarmes will be mobilized to maintain the heightened level of security.

“The numbers, time and procedure for convening these operational reservists is being decided by the Directorate General of the National Gendarmerie,” Valls said.

According to the defense ministry, the operational reserve should enable forces to deal with simultaneous operations.

Engaged for a period of one to five years, the reservist, aged at least 17 years-old may be required to perform the same tasks as the military.

Reporting by Marine Pennetier; Writing by Bate Felix; editing by John Irish