Attempts to attack royal wedding considered ‘highly likely’

By Reuters
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 8:40 EDT
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LONDON (Reuters Life!) – Police officers and sniffer dogs have been scouring drains, bins and peering inside lampposts in central London to check for explosives ahead of next week’s royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Officers have been checking under manhole covers and even hunting inside traffic lights for any hidden bombs or weapons on the short route the bride and groom will travel betweenBuckingham Palace andWestminster Abbey for the wedding.

The couple will travel in separate cars to the abbey, but return along the procession route together in an open-topped horse-drawn carriage, waving to the crowds, and then appear on the balcony of the palace with the rest of the royals.

“Officers are trained to be vigilant and check areas where items may have been hidden,” said Inspector Ian Fairman who is in charge of the search teams.

“Officers will be checking vulnerable areas all along the route of the procession.”

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the route on April 29, and with many dignitaries and royals from Britain and abroad attending, the event is considered to be an obvious target for militants.

Britain is currently at its second highest threat level of “severe,” meaning an attack is considered highly likely.

There is also concern that anarchists will target the event after riots last month. In December, a car carrying William’s father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla was attacked during student protests in the British capital.

Security Minister Pauline Neville-Jones told Reuters in a recent interview that she was confident the wedding would pass off safely.

“A properly planned effort will swing into action to ensure that that occasion is incident-free,” she said. “I think we are always concerned … any event is something we have to take very seriously.”

(Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Paul Casciato)

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