World Cities Plan Increased New Year's Security

  • VOA News

    December 31, 2016 08:37

    Major cities around the world are focusing on security while anticipating big crowds at New Year's celebrations to ring in 2017.

    Added security is in place in many cities because of the December 19 hijacked truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people and other attacks during 2016.

    The German capitol has added concrete barriers and armored cars near the traditional Brandenburg Gate celebration venue to protect crowds from vehicles.

    Paris canceled fireworks at the Eiffel Tower again this year, but a display will be staged along the Champs-Elysees, which has been fortified by armed soldiers and traffic barriers.

    A pedestrian asks directions from two heavily armed counterterrorism officers stationed in Times Square in New York on Dec. 29, 2016. /AP

    In central London, armed police will be deployed on board underground trains for the first time. Some armed officers have protected the subway system in recent years, but this is the first time officers with guns will ride the trains with passengers traveling to and from Trafalgar Square and the banks of the Thames River to celebrate the new year.

    New York City officials have positioned dozens of dump trucks weighted down with loads of sand among the towering skyscrapers in the Times Square area of the borough of Manhattan. The trucks are meant to act as a protective barrier as an expected one million revelers join the countdown to fireworks and confetti to mark the beginning of 2017.

    One of the first prominent New Year's celebrations to start 2017 will be in Australia, where an extra 2,000 police officers and buses used as mobile barriers are protecting Sydney Harbor's famed night of entertainment, culminating at midnight with a fireworks display launched from the famed Harbor Bridge.

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