Security beefed up at Germany’s Oktoberfest over terrorism fears

Dhaka,  Monday,   2016-09-17
Published : 17 Sep 2016, 18:27:05

Security beefed up at Germany’s Oktoberfest over terrorism fears

Police in Germany have tightened security for this year's Oktoberfest over terrorism fears, according to BBC.

The world's biggest beer festival will be fenced off for the first time to ensure visitors go through security checks, authorities say.

About six million visitors are expected to visit Munich for the 17-day event, which runs until 3 October.

Southern Germany was rocked by a series of attacks this summer, though not all were linked to political motives.

"We don't see any special risk for Oktoberfest, but it's clear such an internationally known festival would naturally be a possible attack target," Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told the Associated Press.

He said there remains a "fundamentally high risk of terror attacks in Germany overall."

Backpacks and large bags will be banned from the festival site and more police than usual are being deployed.

Some 450 security guards will be on-site and 29 security cameras will keep watch on festivities.

"The adapted safety concept adequately reacts to recent events without changing the basic character of the Oktoberfest," Munich Mayor Josef Schmid said.

Ten people were killed and dozens more injured in separate gun, bomb, axe and machete attacks in Germany's south during one week in July, several of them in Bavaria.

An axe attack on a train in Wuerzburg by a teenage Afghan refugee was claimed by so-called Islamic State, while a rejected Syrian asylum seeker who blew himself up in Ansbach had pledged allegiance to the group.

But police ruled out a political motive for an 18-year-old gunman who killed nine people and then himself in a Munich shooting spree.

These events had led authorities to "re-evaluate the Oktoberfest safety concept," said Dr Thomas Bohle of Munich's Department of Public Order.



- TS
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