Belgium to go ahead with National Day celebrations

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Brussels/London, July 15 (IANS) Belgium has decided to go ahead with celebrations of its national day next week amid heightened security despite the Bastille Day terror attack in Nice that left at least 84 dead.

Brussels suffered two suicide bombing attacks – at an airport and metro station – that killed 32 and injured more than 300 people in March.

The Belgian government held an emergency national security council meet on Friday morning, and decided to reinforce police presence for the independence day festivities on Thursday, July 21.

The security level in Belgium was re-evaluated overnight. It remains on three, the second highest level set after the March terror attacks.

Like Bastille Day in France, Belgians celebrate their national day by congregating and watching fireworks in public parks and spaces.

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Interior Minister Jan Jambon said this morning that the July 21 festivities would go ahead.

But security provisions would be revised in the wake of the horrific truck attack that represents a change of terror tactics.

“This is a new modus operandi,” Belgian PM Charles Michel said at a press conference in Brussels.

Germany and Italy have decided to boost border controls at airports as well as road and rail crossings into France after the truck attack in Nice.

“In coordination with the French security authorities the federal police are strengthening their control in the area of cross-border traffic into France,” the German police said in a statement.

In London, new Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK “stands shoulder to shoulder” with France and that Britain must “redouble efforts” to defeat “brutal” terrorism.

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Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron condemned the Nice attack as “sickening and dreadful”.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced that he will be “reviewing our own safety measures” following the attack in Nice.



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