France beefs up New Year's security due to 'terrorist' threat

There will be a ban on alcoholic drinks in some areas of Paris

By AFP

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Photo: AP file
Photo: AP file

Published: Fri 29 Dec 2023, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 30 Dec 2023, 4:14 PM

The French government said on Friday it will deploy more than 95,000 police and military personnel for New Year Eve's celebrations, adding that a heightened "terrorist threat" required tight security.

Paris alone, where up to one million revellers are expected on the Champs-Elysees Sunday night -- twice as many as last year -- will get 6,000 security forces to keep order.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told reporters that Sunday's deployment was motivated by "a context of a heightened terrorist threat due to the conflict in Israel and Palestine".

More people were expected in the streets of the capital than last year because of additional celebrations to mark 2024 as the year of the Paris Summer Olympics and Paralympics, Darmanin said.

The national deployment would include 90,000 police or gendarmes, 5,000 members of the anti-terror military contingent Operation Sentinelle as well as mobile units, Darmanin said.

There will be a ban on alcoholic drinks in some areas of Paris, he said.

No political demonstrations will be allowed, added Paris police chief Laurent Nunez.

People will be body-searched before getting access to a festivities' perimeter around the Champs-Elysees, and be banned from carrying "any object that could be used as a weapon", he said.

Drones will be used for surveillance, and France's intelligence services will be put on alert, Darmanin said.

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