France boosts security in advance of holiday

11th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 11, 2006 (AFP) - France said Friday it was tightening security across all airports, ports and rail stations ahead of a long holiday weekend, in response to an alleged plot to blow up US-bound planes from Britain.

PARIS, Aug 11, 2006 (AFP) - France said Friday it was tightening security across all airports, ports and rail stations ahead of a long holiday weekend, in response to an alleged plot to blow up US-bound planes from Britain.

Justice Minister Pascal Clement told regional authorities to "take all necessary measures to seek out any criminal offence related to a terrorist enterprise".

Some 1.6 million people were expected to pass through Paris' rail stations during the coming four-day holiday weekend.

Clement also asked prison directors to report any person suspected of preaching Islamic fundamentalism in French jails.

Meanwhile striking workers at a Paris airport security firm criticised plans for all hand luggage to be 100-percent searched on all flights to Britain, the United States and Israel, saying they were unworkable.

"Until now we were supposed to search 50 percent of all luggage and that was already impossible," said Danielle Hanryon, a union leader at the ICTS security firm, one of the largest at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.

However ICTS management denied there would be any problem putting the new rules in place, despite protests from around 100 workers who went on strike to ask for more staff.

"All safety measures in place have been upheld, including the most recent ones announced for certain destinations," said the company's director of operations Pascal Kerouanthon.

The terror alert level in French airports was left unchanged at red, the third highest on a four-colour scale, following the discovery of the alleged plot, though security was stepped up at British airline check-in counters.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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