Strong police presence in Paris before planned protests

Riot police officers take position during clashes. (File/AP)
Updated 15 December 2018
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Strong police presence in Paris before planned protests

  • There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags for helmets and other potential signs of trouble
  • Security forces in riot gear were positioned Saturday morning around central train stations and along the famed Champs-Elysees boulevard

PARIS: A strong police presence has deployed in Paris before planned demonstrations by the "yellow vest" protesters, with authorities repeating calls for calm after previous violent protests and rioting.
Security forces in riot gear were positioned Saturday morning around central train stations and along the famed Champs-Elysees boulevard, where shops were closed and boarded up in anticipation of the protests. Last weekend, groups of demonstrators smashed and looted stores and set up burning barricades in the streets.
There was a strong police presence outside the central Saint Lazare train station, where police in riot gear checked bags for helmets and other potential signs of trouble. More than 20 police vans and a water cannon truck idled nearby.
President Emanuel Macron on Friday called for calm during the demonstrations.


Car bomb attack kills eight security force members in Afghanistan’s south

Updated 9 min 4 sec ago
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Car bomb attack kills eight security force members in Afghanistan’s south

  • The bomber detonated an explosives-packed car close to the governor’s convoy on a major highway between Logar and the capital Kabul
  • Logar is vulnerable to attacks due to the Taliban’s active presence in most areas of the province

KABUL: A car bomb attack on a convoy of the governor of Afghanistan’s southern Logar province killed at least eight Afghan security force members on Sunday morning but left the provincial chief unharmed, local officials said.
Shahpoor Ahmadzai, the spokesman for Logar’s provincial police, said the bomber detonated an explosives-packed car close to the governor’s convoy on a major highway between Logar and the capital Kabul.
“Unfortunately 10 others are wounded, and the number of casualties may rise” Ahmadzai said, adding that the provincial chief of the country’s intelligence agency was also in the convoy but unhurt in the attack.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, said in a statement that the group was responsible for the blast and that a “large number” of Afghan special forces had been killed or wounded.
Logar, located around 75 kilometers from Kabul, is known as a strategic gateway to the capital and is vulnerable to attacks due to the Taliban’s active presence in most areas of the province.
The militant group have ramped up attacks in strategic provinces in recent months in their battle to expel foreign forces, topple the Western-backed government and restore their version of hardline Islamic law, even as peace talks with the United States ramp up.