IN SHORT

Tough safety measures for NATO assembly

SLOVAKIA toughened border checks and safety measures in Bratislava’s heart ahead of the spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which will take place from May 28 to June 1.

On May 27, police found two plastic bags of explosives under a waste bin at the Fajnorove riverside near the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra where the event is to be held.

According to Interior Ministry Spokesman Boris Ažaltovič, a tip led the police to the bags, which contained five 100-gramme packages of industrial explosives of Czechoslovak production (Permonex 19), and the explosive Pentrit, the news wire SITA reported.

The country’s intelligence service has warned about potential attacks and the border police have a list of 2,000 unwanted persons compiled with the assistance of Interpol and Europol.

Last week Robert Kaliňák, the head of the parliamentary committee for security and defence, warned that a 10,00-strong anti-NATO rally was being planned for Bratislava.

The Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation said that it was not preparing any protests for the NATO session.

Interior Minister Vladimír Palko said that police underwent special training to protect assembly participants. There are about 3,000 police prepared to act against protesters and terrorists.

The event will feature parliamentary deputies from NATO member and associated countries, as well as observers. Bratislava expects about 800 participants, including the NATO secretary general and top assembly representatives.

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