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French police brace for New Year’s Eve unrest

December 30, 2018
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Demonstrators wearing yellow vest hold photos of people they say are victims of police violence in recent weeks in France, in Biarritz, southwestern France, Sunday, Dec.30, 2018. (AP Photo/Bob Edme)

PARIS (AP) — France is deploying more than 147,000 security forces nationwide to gird for New Year’s Eve unrest as yellow vest protesters prepare to join the public revelry.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement issued Sunday that the heavy security measures are needed because of a “high terrorist threat” and concerns about “non-declared protests.”

Police in Paris say they will put a security perimeter around the Champs-Elysees, the site of an annual New Year’s Eve light show and celebration. Anti-government protesters angry over taxes and President Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business policies are planning to be on the famed avenue.

The Interior Ministry says extra security across France will focus on popular gathering places, public transportation, roads and shopping areas.

Previous New Year’s Eves in France have produced burned cars and other disorder.

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