About 2,000 foreign troops to help France secure Paris Olympics

Police officers are seen in front of the Eiffel Tower (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP)

– Some 2,000 foreign troops and police will be sent to Paris to bolster security for this summer’s Olympic Games as France remains on high alert following attack threats, the French armed forces minister said Friday.

“We have something like 2,000 foreign police officers, gendarmes and troops who will be joining the protection system for the Olympic Games,” Sebastien Lecornu told all-news television station LCI.

France, which will host the games from July 26 to August 11, has raised its security alert to the highest level after a Moscow concert hall attack claimed at least 144 lives on March 22. The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the massacre.

The minister said the reinforcements would provide “specific functions” in short supply, including dog handlers, horse riders and mounted patrols.

French military servicemen stand guard at the Trocadero Square with the Eiffel Tower in the background in Paris (Photo by Geoffroy VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

In late March, Poland said it would supply troops with an emphasis on sniffer dogs for bomb detection and counter-terrorism operations. It did not specify the number of troops.

Nearly 45,000 police officers and gendarmes will be mobilised in the Paris region for the opening ceremony July 26, which in breaking with tradition will be held along the Seine River instead of the main stadium.

During the games themselves, 18,000 French military troops will be deployed, including 3,000 responsible for aerial surveillance — in addition to about 35,000 police and gendarmes.