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New Year's Eve Disrupted by Terrorist Threats, other Unrest
   2016-01-01 15:12:28    Xinhua      Web Editor: Qian Shanming

Photo taken by a mobile device shows Address Downtown Dubai hotel on fire in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, on Dec. 31, 2015. Fire broke out on Thursday in a luxurious hotel in Dubai where people were gathering nearby to watch the New Year's fireworks show. [Photo: Xinhua]

Terrorist threats and other unrest were seen in some parts of the world, indicating challenges facing the world as the clock ticked into a brand new year.

Terrorist threats have shrouded Europe ever since the Nov. 13 series attacks in Paris. Brussels, the heart of Europe, had canceled its traditional fireworks show on New Year's Eve.

The decision was made after the arrest of two people suspected of preparing terrorist attacks in Brussels during New Year celebrations. They were detained in police raid in Brussels and in the Liege region since last weekend.

Everything seems going smooth in the European capital hours before the New Year. However, the mood has changed after high alert at the end of the year which had kept school closed and people were advised to avoid going to densely populated areas.

Three of the six people arrested by Belgian police in latest operations against terror cells remained in custody Thursday. Prosecutors said they were holding the three for further questioning.

Some of those kept by the police were members of the Kamikaze Riders, a Brussels-based group that carries out motor bike stunts. Local media said the group harbors Islamic State sympathizers.

In Germany, police warned early Friday morning that they had received concrete information that strongly indicates possible plans for terrorist attacks in Munich.

"There is a danger of an attack in the area of Munich, please keep away from crowds, avoid the central station and the railway station Pasing," according to Munich police.

The police said that both railway stations have already been evacuated.

At the same time, the police advise people stay away from large gatherings.

German media Tagesschau reported that the hints leading to terror alarm come from France. According to the hints, suicide attacks in Munich were planned.

In the Middle East merry land Dubai, fire broke out on Thursday in a luxurious hotel where people were gathering nearby to watch the New Year's fireworks show.

Some 14 people were lightly injured as the entire building is being evacuated, according to the command-in-chief of Dubai police, who said that the fire has been largely controlled and the New Year's celebration will go as scheduled.

The fire broke out at the Address Downtown Dubai hotel, close to the world's tallest building, the iconic Burj Khalifa, and near the site of a planned fireworks show.

Local media said the fire started from the exterior of the 20th floor of the 63-storey hotel, and the fire control systems prevented the fire from reaching the interior of the building. Debris were seen falling off the exterior.

In the United States, several high-profile police shootings have resulted in protests on New Year's Eve, as more than 150 citizens chose to vent their anger accumulated in the passing year in Chicago's city hall.

Protesters held a die-in on the ground floor of the building, blocking foot traffic, then entered elevators to go to the 5th floor housing mayor's office to demand Mayor Rahm Emmanuel's resignation.

Protests kept erupting in Chicago after the release of the video of police shooting of McDonald in November. Adding fuel, Chicago Police officers shot and killed a 19-year-old engineering student, and accidentally shot and killed a 55-year-old mother of five one day after the Christmas.



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