Rome on Easter security lockdown

Indo Asian News Service

Rome, April 14 (IANS/AKI) Italian authorities have tightened security in the capital for Easter and have deployed bomb squads, sniffer dogs and surveillance cameras at the Colosseum, Vatican and other sites after recent terrorist attacks in Britain, Sweden and Germany.

The Colosseum closed to visitors at 1 p.m. ahead of the Good Friday Stations of the Cross torchlight ceremony due to be led by Pope Francis, while the surrounding area is under lockdown and closed to traffic.

The Colosseum metro station also closed at 1 p.m. and buses were diverted from the area. Barriers, armoured trucks and mounted police units have been deployed at Rome's monuments, pedestrian zones, shopping streets and beach resorts near the capital.

Military helicopters, 800 soldiers, police prowler cars and outriders will patrol the capital and surrounding province under the special security measures for Holy Week.

Security has also been ramped up at tourist sites in other Italian cities over the Easter period and at transport hubs such as ports, airports and stations following a meeting of the government's strategic anti-terrorism analysis committee (CASA).