France Denies Hollande Left Without Armed Protection in Rio
France Wednesday denied reports that President Francois Hollande had been left without armed protection at last week's Rio Earth summit after his protection detail forgot their firearms in Paris.
"All the officers who accompanied the president were armed and not bare-handed, contrary to what has been alleged," government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said.
She admitted that one set of weapons had indeed been forgotten in Paris by an officer but said they were only back-ups.
"The bag that was left behind contained only extra weapons," she said.
"It is true that it was left behind and it is true that this was considered a serious mistake on the part of the officer responsible and his divisional commander fired him on his return."
Sources close to the matter said Tuesday the bag was forgotten and weekly satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaine said Hollande's protection had been left "bare-handed".