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Europe Tightens Security on New Year's Eve
   2015-12-31 07:22:35    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guo Yan

Belgian police officers are pictured through a Christmas tree as they patrol on Brussels' Grand Place, December 29, 2015, after two people were arrested in Belgium on Sunday and Monday, both suspected of plotting an attack in Brussels on New Year's Eve.[Photo: CFP]

Security has been tightened ahead of New Years celebrations across Europe, as concerns over terrorism have risen since the attack in Paris last month.

Our reporter Guo Yan has the details.

 

Authorities in the Belgian capital Brussels have decided to cancel the city's fireworks show on New Year's Eve amid a high alert for possible terrorist attacks.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel is on record saying the decision was made based on the latest intelligence his government has received.

It comes after the arrest of two people suspected of preparing terrorist attacks in Brussels during New Years celebrations.

The country has been on high alert since the Paris attack in November, in which 130 people were killed.

Brussels was home to four of the radical Islamic militants involved in the attack.

In France, about 60,000 police and troops have been deployed across the country over the New Year period.

A firework display due to have been held in Paris to mark the start of the coming year has been cancelled.

Visiting the security forces tasked with guarding Paris on Wednesday, French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed the need for "special vigilance."

"I think that there has never been as many police officers, gendarmerie, and army protecting the security of the French people. Operation 'Sentinel' is the most important operation of our troops. More important than our operations in Mali, Central African Republic, or the Middle East, but it is the same fight. A fight against an enemy that is inside and outside."

At the Brandenburg Gate in Germany, officials have laid on extra security measures for one of Europe's biggest open-air parties.

Large bags and glasses and pointed objects have been banned from the site.

All handbags will also be checked at security gates before entering.

According to the head of Germany's police union, Rainer Wendt, special measures have also been planned by law enforcement.

"The German government has established with the Joint Terrorism Task Force the organizational requirements for a central information control centre to take place. That means, all tips from outside Germany -- but also from intelligence services and crime agencies from countries -- come together there, are analysed there, assessed around the clock. That's why you can expect a good security situation in Germany."

The party at Brandenburg Gate is due to start late Thursday night, featuring party tents, lights ,lasers, and live music shows, and is expected to attract one million participants.

Earlier in the week, the New York City police department also announced the deployment of extra forces for the New Years Eve dropping of the ball at Time Square.

In November, after Islamist-inspired attacks in Paris, the IS militant group released a video that showed a glimpse of Times Square and then a suicide bomber.

For CRI, this is Guo Yan.

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