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'Paris Plage' beach festival opens amid heightened security

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'Paris Plage' beach festival opens amid heightened security

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The annual Paris Plage beach festival has kicked off in the French capital, amid heightened security measures.

Lorry loads of sand have been dumped along the bank of the River Seine – creating that ‘by the coast’ feeling.

Cement blocks and barriers have been brought in to stop any vehicles getting close.

France continues to be on heightened alert after the recent attack in Nice, when a truck was driven through a crowd – killing 84 people.

Other summer events in Paris have been cancelled this time around.

“Security has of course been increased, already last year we had raised measures,” said Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

“Since the last attacks, particularly in Nice, we reinforced the (road) access from the ramps with cement blocks and barriers which would prevent any vehicle from getting onto what today is still the highway.”

Two Tunisian mayors from Tunis and Sousse, where mass shootings took place in 2015, also attended the opening with Hidalgo.

Sousse, like Nice, is a seaside tourist town and the pair have been twinned since 2012. The aim of the visit is to show solidarity in the face of the attacks that have scarred both countries.

It was arranged before the Nice attack, which was claimed by the so-called Islamic State group.

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