Government beefs up the security of military bases

"The analysis is damning," a Defence Ministry official said of an official inquiry launched into security at military bases made after the theft, citing human and systemic failings.

France beefs up the security of military bases

The French Defence Ministry on Thursday announced plans to reinforce security at its military facilities after a major theft of explosives earlier this month, providing additional manpower and video surveillance.

The move comes after 40 grenades, 180 detonators and plastic explosives were stolen from a military base in the southern French town of Miramas on July 7.

The theft, which has yet been unsolved, comes as France remains on high security alert in the wake of January's killings by Islamist gunmen in Paris and a series of thwarted attacks.

Notably investigators discovered that part of the fencing around the Miramas base had been cut several weeks before the theft but that internal delays meant it had not been repaired.

The plan involves France's 110 arms storage sites. Around 100 extra soldiers will be deployed to guard them, with the most vulnerable ones put under video-surveillance. A 60-million-euro refurbishment of warehouses will take place early next year.

A second step of the plan aimed at protecting all military sites on French soil will be unveiled in September for an estimated cost of several hundred million euros.

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