US warns Euro 2016 soc­cer pos­si­ble ter­ror tar­get

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

WASH­ING­TON—The United States warned its cit­i­zens Tues­day that this sum­mer’s Euro 2016 soc­cer tour­na­ment and re­lated events across France and Europe will present “po­ten­tial tar­gets for ter­ror­ists.”

The month-long Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship fi­nals start in Paris on June 10, draw­ing the best in­ter­na­tional teams from the con­ti­nent and hun­dreds of thou­sands of fans.

“Euro Cup sta­di­ums, fan zones, and un­af­fil­i­ated en­ter­tain­ment venues broad­cast­ing the tour­na­ments in France and across Europe rep­re­sent po­ten­tial tar­gets for ter­ror­ists,” the State Depart­ment said.

The warn­ing was con­tained in an up­date to its long-stand­ing warn­ing to US trav­el­ers to be­ware ex­trem­ist at­tacks on trans­port and pub­lic gath­er­ings in Europe.

“We are alert­ing US cit­i­zens to the risk of po­ten­tial ter­ror­ist at­tacks through­out Europe, tar- get­ing ma­jor events, tourist sites, restau­rants, com­mer­cial cen­ters and trans­porta­tion,” it said.

“The large num­ber of tourists vis­it­ing Europe in the sum­mer months will present greater tar­gets for ter­ror­ists plan­ning at­tacks in pub­lic lo­ca­tions, es­pe­cially at large events.”

The French govern­ment has ruled out can­celling the pres­ti­gious tour­na­ment, which is ex­pected to draw two mil­lion fans to cities across the coun­try.

To strengthen se­cu­rity at Euro 2016, France has ex­tended a state of emer­gency put in place af­ter at­tacks last Novem­ber on a con­cert hall, cafes, po­lice and a foot­ball crowd.

Last month, French do­mes­tic in­tel­li­gence chief Pa­trick Cal­var told law­mak­ers that France is “clearly tar­geted” by the Is­lamic State group.

France feared a “new form of at­tack” in which ter­ror­ists would place bombs in ar­eas where big crowds gather, he warned.—AFP

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