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Bomb sweeps, bag checks as terror threat looms over Cannes
 


afp

Cannes (France)

Bomb experts will carry out daily sweeps at the Cannes film festival, opening this week under maximum security as France faces its highest ever terror threat, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Monday.

The glitterati, set to descend on the resort town as the festival opens on Wednesday, will also have to tip open expensive handbags for inspection after climbing the red carpet into the main venue, the Palais des Festivals, which is to be secured by some 400 private security agents. Hundreds more police officers and specialised units will be on duty in the city, whose lure for the rich and famous makes it equally attractive to jewellery thieves and robbers.

The 69th Cannes film festival comes six months after Islamic State jihadists launched co-ordinated attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead, and France remains under a state of emergency.

"We must keep in mind as we prepare to open this festival, that we are faced with a risk which has never been as high, and faced with an enemy determined to strike us at any moment," said Cazeneuve."We must demonstrate extreme vigilance at all times."

Cazeneuve, who visited the city two days before it becomes the world movie capital for the two week cinematic extravaganza, said the stakes were high for security forces.

He said the city had to take into account"the global nature of the event, its visibility, the high number of celebrities who must be protected, the concentration of crowds in public spaces, without forgetting the need to preserve the atmosphere of conviviality which is crucial to the success of the festival."


 
 

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