Foreign police for Italy during Jubilee of Mercy

2015-12-09 19:57
Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of St Peter's Basilica. (Andrew Medichini, AP)

Pope Francis opens the Holy Door of St Peter's Basilica. (Andrew Medichini, AP)

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Rome - Foreign police officers will be deployed to Italy over the next 11 months to help maintain security during the Jubilee of Mercy, a Catholic festival expected to attract millions of pilgrims, a government minister said on Wednesday.

The jubilee, which started on Tuesday and is scheduled to run until November 20 2016, is treated as an event at risk of terrorist attacks. Last month US intelligence singled out St Peter's Basilica as a possible target.

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said in a statement that the scheme was launched in Rome on the jubilee's opening day, when Spain's Guardia Civil and National Police carried out joint patrols near the Vatican with Italian counterparts.

Alfano, who did not specify which other countries beyond Spain will be involved, said foreign officers will wear their national uniforms and will be on hand to provide support to pilgrims and tourists from their home countries. 

An Italian police spokesperson added that other participating nations will be made known at a later stage.

Read more on:    italy  |  security

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