05/30/2007

Germany rolls out biggest police deployment in post-war history

United Press International

HEILIGENDAMM, Germany, May 30 — Germany is not taking any security risks as it prepares to host the Group of Eight summit in Heiligendamm.

The summit venue has been closed off completely, in the latest of several security measures Berlin has introduced in the Baltic Sea resort.

On Wednesday morning, police sealed off the last gap in the nearly $20-million security fence; from now on, only Heiligendamm residents, hotel personnel and other accredited individuals can enter the area -- through one of two heavily secured checkpoints.

Passing by boat has been banned as police boats patrol the coastline and barriers have been built into the sea, while several roads and train tracks around Heiligendamm are shut down for the duration of the summit.

The German government will deploy some 16,000 police to the area, where the leaders of the eight most industrialized nations will meet from June 6 to 8. It's the biggest police deployment in Germany's post-war history.

Officials expect some 100,000 anti-globalization activists to flock to the area to stage demonstrations and other protest events.

Past G8 summits have been marred by violence, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is eager to prevent violent disruptions at the first G8 summit she is hosting.

Copyright 2007 United Press International

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