French frontrunner Macron calls on France to unite and reject "fear"

Emmanuel Macron, head of the political movement En Marche !, or Onwards !, and candidate for the 2017 French presidential election, attends a campaign political rally in Paris, France, April 17, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - French presidential frontrunner Emmanuel Macron on Friday said France should not yield to fear and candidates in the election should avoid one-upmanship after the killing of a police officer in an Islamic State-claimed attack claimed.

"Don't yield to fear, don't yield to division and intimidation. Our generation must rise to this challenge," he said in a statement broadcast from his campaign headquarters.

Macron said he had cancelled two rallies on Friday to avoid overburdening security forces but said he refused to suspend his campaign. "Democracy is stronger," he said.

"The weakening of local intelligence services implemented almost 10 years ago was a mistake," he added, in an apparent dig at the previous conservative administration under prime minister and conservative presidential rival Francois Fillon.

(Reporting by Michel Rose; Editing by Leigh Thomas)