Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Prague Marathon will have heightened security

10 May 2013

Prague, May 9 (CTK) - Security measures to accompany the annual Prague Marathon on Sunday will be tougher than in the past years in view of the recent terrorist attack on the marathon in Boston, the USA, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes yesterday, citing the City Hall and police representatives.

The authorities and the police will assist in organising the Prague Marathon more intensively in reaction to the Boston attack that claimed three lives and injured 260 people.

"As we consider safety a priority, we will do our utmost for it and we will use all technical and human resources to secure it," Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda (Civic Democrats, ODS) is quoted as saying.

The City Hall has established a special team to coordinate the security measures, MfD writes.

"Apart from standard measures, there will be extraordinary ones, ensured by the Czech police, the municipal police and a security agency hired by the organisers," Svoboda added.

The 19th Prague Marathon will start at the Old Town Square on Sunday morning. Over 9,500 runners will take part in the 42.195 km long race and further thousands of people will join the accompanying shorter runs.

In the past years, the marathon was annually watched by over 600 security force officers, about a half of whom were the state police and a half the municipal police.

Their number is to be far higher this time, though the police would not specify it, MfD writes.

The centre of the city and also other sites along the marathon track will be more intensively monitored by the camera system.

The event's director Vaclav Skrivanek said the organisers want to use the example and experience of the London Marathon, held a week after Boston's. They definitely do not want the tighter security measures to bother either the runners or the viewers, he told the daily.

For example, the runners will not be able to leave big luggage in the areas of the start and finish, and only duly registered runners and persons with a special permit will be authorised to enter the space for runners, Skrivanek said.

He thanked people for tolerating the temporary closures of some squares and streets, mainly in the centre of the city, and the diversion of the concerned public transport lines over the marathon on Sunday.

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