Australia increases police presence after Brussels attacks

Melbourne, March 24 (IANS) Australia will ramp up its police presence at two major potential terror targets — sporting venues and airports — in the wake of the Brussels terror attacks.

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday said the traditional Australian Football League (AFL) season opener at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday, contested by Richmond and Carlton, would have twice as many police as last year’s fixture, Xinhua news agency reported.

Andrews said the increase in police on the beat would flow through to other public events happening over the Easter weekend.

“These additional resources are all about keeping Victoria safe,” Andrews told reporters on Thursday.

“(They) are there and the determination is there to … never let these evil murderers win out.”

The premier said the state had no evidence that the string of attacks carried out on the Belgium capital’s airport and rail network on Tuesday, which killed 34 people and injured over 200, would be repeated on Australian soil.

However, Andrews said Victoria needed to be vigilant and ensure “longstanding (safety) protocols were put in place.”

On Wednesday, Prime Minster (PM) Malcolm Turnbull spoke to officials from the Australia Federal Police (AFP), the Australian Security and Intelligence Organization (ASIO) and the Australian Border Force (ABF) as well as several high-ranking cabinet members to discuss the implications of the Brussels attack.

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