Olympics: Spain To Deploy 313 Policemen in Paris

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Spain said on Thursday that it will send 313 police officers to Paris to bolster security for this summer’s Olympic Games as France remains on high alert following attack threats.

The officers, including bomb deactivation experts and sniffer dog teams, will be deployed in response to a request from France for foreign assistance with Games security, the Spanish interior ministry said in a statement.

“The Ministry of the Interior will transfer a total of 313 national police and civil guards to Paris (France) to join the security device that the French authorities have arranged to protect the celebration of the next Olympic Games, which will be held between the 26th July and August 11, as well as the Paralympic Games, scheduled to follow between August 28 and September 8.

“The Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, received this Thursday at the headquarters of the department a representation of the group that will travel to the French capital in the coming days, with whom he held an informal meeting in which he wished them luck in their mission and asked them to take care of the high level of reputation that the Spanish Security Forces enjoy throughout the European Union,” it read.

According to the statement, The French authorities, “through their embassy in Madrid, requested the ministry, last January, to deploy members of the Spanish State Security Forces and Corps on the occasion of the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.

“The department headed by Grande-Marlaska immediately gave a positive response and, since then, meetings have taken place between the Directorate of International Security Cooperation of the French Republic and the General Subdirectorate of International Police Cooperation of the ministry to outline the dimensions of the Spanish reinforcement and the missions they will assume in the French capital.

“The Spanish reinforcement for the security device of the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games is made up of 171 national police officers, who belong to units such as Police Intervention, Cavalry, Mobile Brigade, canine guides (specialized in explosives), Central Border Unit or the anti-drone teams of the Air Unit, among others.

“For their part, another 142 civil guards will be integrated into this group, coming from units such as Citizen, Fiscal and Border Security, the Valdemoro and Baeza academies, the Rapid Action Group, the Explosives Deactivation Service (SEDEX-NRBQ) , the Cynological Service and the Traffic Group, among others,” it further read.

France, which will host the games from July 26 to August 11, has raised its security alert to the highest level after the deadly attack at a Moscow concert hall in March.

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The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the massacre.

Russia, had on March 23, said it had arrested 11 people including four gunmen over the attack, as the death toll rose to 115.

The Spanish police will stay in Paris for the Paralympics which will be held from August 28 to September 8, the statement added.

The French capital has been repeatedly hit by deadly attacks by Islamic extremists and security concerns are notably high for the opening ceremony of the Games, which will involve boats along the Seine River and huge crowds watching from the embankments.

“The French Ministry of the Interior asked 45 countries to provide police officers to ensure security during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, with the majority giving a positive response. The Spanish police delegation is the largest of those that will be integrated into the security device that will protect the Olympic competition,” the statement also noted.

Nearly 45,000 police officers and gendarmes will be mobilised in the Paris region for the event. During the games themselves, 18,000 French military troops will be deployed, including 3,000 responsible for aerial surveillance – in addition to about 35,000 police and gendarmes.

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