Indonesia beefs up security at tourist spots on New Year's eve

13:28, December 31, 2010      

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An Indonesian senior police officer said security in Bali, the island's most popular tourist area, would be beefed up for New Year's Eve celebrations, local media reported here on Friday "We will prioritize security arrangements at tourist spots," Bali's Denpasar Police chief Sr. Comr. Suryanbodo Asmoro said, quoted by the Jakarta Post. Thousands of additional officers would be deployed to key areas to provide security on New Year's Eve, he added.

Denpasar Police are overseeing security in several sites of the island's most crowded tourist destinations, including Sanur and Kuta. Kuta was the site of two tragic security breaches in the past: the 2002 Bali bombings that claimed the lives of 202 people, mostly foreign tourists, and the 2005 suicide bombings that killed 20 people.

Asmoro said his officers would be extra vigilant on New Year's Eve, adding that a combination of wild crowds, traffic jams and binge drinking could escalate and disrupt security.

"Officers will be deployed to several sites that we have identified as crowd concentration points. These officers have been instructed to keep a watchful eye on their surroundings and to be prepared to take necessary measures to maintain peace and order," he said.

Puputan Badung will host the "Farewell to the 2010s Sun", a cultural celebration financed by the city administration involving thousands of dancers, performers and musicians. Thousands of city residents are expected to flock to the event, the Jakarta Post reported. "We will also station officers at nightspots, cafes, pubs and entertainment centers in Denpasar and Badung. Hopefully, through this measure we can prevent brawls and other violent incidents," Asmoro said.

In previous years, New Year's Eve celebrations were marred by fights in nightspots, but later escalated into full-blown street brawls.

Bali Police said it would deploy 8,000 officers, including members of the Gegana bomb squad and the Densus 88 counterterrorism unit.

Source: Xinhua
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