Security Operation for D-Day Anniversary

Discussion in 'All Anniversaries' started by salientpoints, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. salientpoints

    salientpoints Senior Member

    France has gone on red security alert for the visit of a host of world leaders at the weekend for the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

    With terrorism an ever-present threat, France is on a war footing to ensure security for 16 heads of state and as many as 1 million people attending ceremonies this weekend for the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings in World War II.

    From midnight, the security level was upped to red on a color-coded scale, just one notch short of the highest state of alert.

    World leaders due to attend the commemoration include U.S. President George W. Bush, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Queen Elizabeth II of Britain along with Prime Minister Tony Blair and the monarchs of Norway and the Netherlands.

    Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will also be present, the first time a serving German leader will attend the ceremonies.

    Mindful of the possibility of aerial attacks, a no-fly zone is being imposed over the Normandy beaches in northern France where some 132,500 Allied troops stormed ashore on June 6, 1944.

    Surface-to-air missiles poised to shoot down stray or enemy aircraft. More than 15,000 police and soldiers deployed to keep order. Stocks of antidotes ready in case of chemical attack.

    As well as ID and baggage checks for all travelling to Normandy by train or car, public water supplies will be monitored to prevent any poisoning attempts.

    Cars will be stopped at checkpoints along a 60-mile stretch of Normandy coast, and drivers without special passes will be turned away, said Defense Ministry spokesman Jean-Francois Bureau.

    Military helicopters, Mirage fighters and Crotale surface-to-air batteries are authorized to escort, and if necessary, shoot down, any unidentified aircraft that enter the area.

    Four thousand troops and an extra 1,000 police have been mobilised under the Vigipirate security plan, which will be raised to the maximum level -- scarlet -- from June 4, ahead of the arrival of dignitaries, thousands of war veterans and media.

    France raised security at major airports and railway stations to level red in March, following the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people.

    Interior Minister Dominique de Villepin has said France faces no specific security threat but that international events increased risks -- a veiled reference to the situation in Iraq.

    Under the latest security measures, demonstrations have been banned for a week in a central Paris area that includes the Elysee presidential palace, the prime minister's official Matignon office and the U.S. Embassy near Place de la Concorde.

    Three demonstrations against U.S. policy in Iraq planned for June 5 will be kept away from the security zone.

    Security has also been tightened at museums, galleries, major department stores and cinemas across the capital, with left-luggage facilities suspended at railway stations.

    :eek: Ryan
  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Thanks for that update Ryan - doesn't suprise me.

    I just wonder what we have in store for this weekend!!?? :unsure:

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