Paris: President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Tuesday that France would speed up expulsions and block the entry of extremists in the wake of shootings by an Islamist radical who killed seven people.

  "We will speed up expulsion procedures for reasons of public order," Sarkozy said in a speech praising security services for their handling of the attacks carried out in southern France by Mohamed Merah.

"I am saying this in the strongest way possible, all of those who have made defamatory attacks on France or against the values of the republic will not be authorised to enter our country. It is not France's role to accept those who violate its values," he said.

Sarkozy said he had ordered the DCRI domestic intelligence agency to "check in detail the situation in our country of all persons identified as a potential risk to national security."

Sarkozy, in mid-campaign for re-election, said on Monday that French security services would hunt down Islamic extremists in the country following the killings.

He also said that France had barred influential Qatar-based Sunni Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi from visiting the country for a congress of Islamic groups.

  Qaradawi, who has ties with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, has been accused of making anti-Semitic and homophobic statements and was banned from Britain in 2008. He has been banned from entering the United States since 1999.

(Agencies)