Paris - Warnings mounted on Wednesday over
potential terrorist attacks just two days before the start of Euro 2016, with
France on high alert as it readies to host two million foreign football fans.
The French government was set to launch a
smartphone app which would warn visitors of any "major crisis", a day
after Britain warned that fans could be targeted during the month-long
The free application, available in English
and French, would alert users to any suspected attack or other disaster
according to their location, the interior ministry said.
The British Foreign Office on Tuesday said
there was a "high threat from terrorism" during the month-long
"During Euro 2016, stadiums, fan
zones, venues broadcasting the tournament and transport hubs and links
represent potential targets for terrorist attacks," the Foreign Office
The US State Department gave a similar
warning last week, saying that "unaffiliated entertainment venues
broadcasting the tournament in France and across Europe" were also
The arrest of a Frenchman with an arsenal
of weapons in Ukraine on Monday has heightened security fears.
Ukraine said the 25-year-old, identified in
France as Gregoire Moutaux, was planning to attack multiple locations including
mosques and synagogues before and during the tournament.
But France has made no official comment on
the arrest and anti-terrorist prosecutors have not been assigned to the case,
suggesting authorities do not believe there was any imminent threat to Euro
The country has mobilised 90 000 security
personnel to guard Euro 2016, including 13 000 private guards.
Paris police chief Michel Cadot has said an
extra 3 000 officers were being added to the 10 000 allotted for the capital.
The country is still under a state of
emergency following November's suicide bombings and shootings in Paris that
left 130 people dead and were claimed by the Islamic State group.
Experts said jihadists could aim for areas
with minimal security protection during Euro 2016.
"You protect 1 000 targets, so it's
the 1 001st target that will be hit," said Pascal Boniface, of the
Institute for International and Strategic Relations in Paris.
Ahead of the opening match between the
hosts and Romania on Friday, France also faces the threat of disruption to rail
travel due to strikes that have paralysed parts of the network for a week.
Unions voted to continue the train strikes
for an eighth day on Wednesday despite receiving an improved offer on pay and
conditions from state-run operator SNCF in all-night talks.
The rail strike was limited in scope on
Tuesday, but even if trains return to normal the threat of a walkout by Air
France pilots still hangs over the four-yearly gathering of Europe's top
The pilots are set to ground planes for
four days from Saturday over pay, just when an estimated two million visitors
will begin heading for France.
French President Francois Hollande has
warned the unions they will receive little sympathy if they disrupt the
Labour reforms introduced by Hollande's
unpopular Socialist government have led to three months of strikes and
sometimes violent protests.
The reforms are designed to make it easier
to hire and fire people, but opponents say they will erode job security.