French police carry out 'Euro 16' terror drill
Published 19/03/2016 | 02:30
More than a thousand police and firemen took part this week in the largest attack response drill ever carried out in France, in the southern city of Nîmes, ahead of the Euro 2016 football championship due to be held in the country from June 10.
French authorities are keen to show that they are well prepared for the event, which will take place less than a year after Islamist gun and bomb attacks in Paris that killed 130 people.
The exercise was designed to simulate a chemical attack in a "fan zone", a closed-perimeter area in which football fans will be able to monitor the competition on giant outdoor screens when not attending matches in one of the 10 stadiums.
Dozens of police and military officers took part in the drill, some of them equipped with gas masks.
"In Nîmes, it was about a chemical or bacteriological threat," Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was quoted as saying in daily newspaper '20 Minutes'.
"We don't believe there is a genuine risk of this type of attack, but we must envisage every hypothesis."