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France to deploy 110,000 police for the Bastille Day, World Cup finals

France to deploy 110,000 police for the Bastille Day, World Cup finals
France to deploy 110,000 police for the Bastille Day, World Cup finals. picture-alliance/A. Marchi
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French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb announced massive security measures on Friday to prevent any terror attacks over the weekend, which will see France celebrate the Bastille Day on Saturday and play against Croatia in the World Cup final on Sunday.

"Everything is being done so the French can live these festive moments with peace of mind, despite the terrorist threat which remains at a high level," Collomb said.

Authorities plan to deploy 110,000 police officers and gendarmes to secure gatherings across the country. Another 44,000 firefighters would also be placed on stand-by, while some 3,000 emergency medical responders would be on hand in Paris and the city's surroundings.

"We cannot mobilize any more units for this weekend," Collomb said.

France has faced repeated terror attacks in recent years, with jihadists killing 246 people since January 2015, according to the AFP news agency.

Roadblocks around Champs Elysees

French President Emmanuel Macron is set to attend the traditional Bastille Day military parade in Paris on Saturday. Although a festive atmosphere is expected, a Bastille Day attack that killed 86 people in the southern city of Nice two years ago still casts a shadow over the national holiday.

Paris' most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, is closed for the weekend as authorities set up a tightly-controlled fan zone next to the monument at Champ de Mars.

On Thursday, Paris police chief Michel Delpuech urged the fans to arrive "as soon as possible," adding that the police would close the zone once the limit of 90,000 people is reached.

Post-game celebrations could also present additional challenges for the security forces, which monitored hundreds of thousands of revelers as they celebrated the French victory over Belgium earlier this week.

Delpuech said police would respond to a victory on Sunday against Croatia by blocking off vehicle access "over a vast perimeter" around the Champs Elysees.

dj/amp (SID, AFP, Reuters)

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