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USA Warns Citizens from Traveling to Europe Fearing Terrorist Attacks | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Paris-The U.S. State Department warned its citizens on Tuesday of possible summer terrorist attacks in Europe, saying targets could include the European soccer championship in France, although a State Department official said there was no specific threat information.

“We are alerting U.S. citizens to the risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe, targeting major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centers and transportation,” the U.S. State Department said in a travel alert that extends through Aug. 31.

The department routinely issues such warnings for individual countries and, at times, for an entire continent even when it does not have specific threat information about particular targets.

France is hosting soccer’s European Championship and cycling’s Tour de France, while under an extended state of emergency. Two and a half million visitors are expected in Krakow, Poland, for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in late July.

Earlier this month the French government announced that almost 100,000 police, soldiers and private security personnel would be deployed at Euro 2016 for the duration of the month-long tournament.

“Such a unique event in exceptional circumstances requires extra security measures,” said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

On the other hand, about 500 extras, rescue workers and police on Tuesday simulated simultaneous attacks in and around the “Stade de France,” and ten days of the Euro 2016 opening match.

The speakers started counting down before exploding a fake bomb. Shouts rose, ambulance sirens were soon to follow. This was “Phase 1” of crisis management exercise “multiple attacks” and “multi-site,” which was held on Tuesday at the Stade de France, north of Paris.

Seven matches of Euro 2016 (June 10- July 10) will be played in this place of 80,000 seats, seven months after the attacks of 13 November that began near it the same stage, making it one dead and 56 wounded.

The script of Tuesday’s exercise was not known to police or emergency. In total, some 250 extras and 200 responders- police, firefighters, etc. – have been mobilized.

The first explosion was supposed to occur in the very game in the corridors behind the stands of the stadium.

A second “explosion” is then triggered under a bridge, between the Regional Express Network and the stadium, with the evacuation of spectators.

Finally, a shootout is supposed to break out in the fan area of Saint-Denis, a few kilometers away; virtual balance of these simulated attacks ended up with twenty dead and sixty wounded.

For his part, spokesperson of Paris firefighters Commander More Gabriel said “for the big day it will work well,” he said.