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Czech security measures to remain in force until Jan 2 at least

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Prague, Dec 21 (CTK) – The tightened security measures the Czech Republic has introduced in reaction to Monday’s attack in Berlin will remain in force until January 2 at least, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec told journalists yesterday.
Police patrols have been reinforced all over the country to include 500 more officers.
Barriers have appeared at selected busy places such as Christmas markets in big towns and the lower part of Prague’s central Wenceslas Square to block access to vehicles.
Chovanec (Social Democrats, CSSD), together with Police President Tomas Tuhy, crossed the centre of Prague late in the afternoon to see the barriers.
“They have been installed mainly for people to feel that measures are being taken. They are either this type of [half-metre-high concrete] barriers or vehicles or other technical barriers. We do not want to scare the public excessively by erecting two-metre barriers,” Chovanec told reporters.
He said various barriers have also appeared in other towns, including the Moravian capital Brno and the country’s third and fourth largest towns, Plzen and Ostrava.
An increased number of two-member police patrols with automatic rifles has been evident in the streets since Tuesday.
In addition, mounted police started patrolling in Prague yesterday.
After Christmas, the police will increasingly focus on protecting shopping centres in the period of sales, Chovanec said.
He said the police have selected some 40 events to pay increased attention to.
The costs of the security measures might reach tens of millions of crowns depending on how long they will remain in effect, Chovanec said.
He estimated the costs at 30 million crowns.
($1=26.068 crowns)

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