Lightning police raids followed the Canadian Government's introduction of emergency powers early Friday morning (October 16).
Lightning police raids followed the Canadian Government's introduction of emergency powers early Friday morning (October 16). In Montreal, police started their sweep against the banned Quebec Liberation Front with a raid on the French-speaking Universitie du Quebec.
At the University, where students had held a sit-in to support the FLQ, police were hunting for a printing press used for communiques by the Front.
Simultaneously, a large-scale round-up of FLQ members and sympathisers was underway. By Friday evening, 238 had been arrested. And the massive manhunt for the kidnappers of Quebec Labour Minister Pierre Laporte and British diplomat James Cross was stepped up -- despite fears that it could endanger the lives of the hostages.
First units of more than 1,000 troops flown into Montreal to cope with the emergency took over guard duty at key buildings in the city -- freeing more police for the manhunt. Large quantities of weapons and explosives believed to have stockpiles by the FLQ were also sought.
The house of kidnap victim James Cross was among the home guarded by troops. There has been no word about either hostage since Wednesday. Hopes of their release now rests on the police and troops. Quebec Government negotiations with the kidnappers are at an end -- and Friday's round-up of suspects included lawyer Robert Lemieux who had been negotiating on behalf of the F.L.Q.