France launches massive police operation for week of high-profile events

© REUTERS/Charles Platiau

France is mobilising thousands of police officers from Monday as it prepares for several high-level events this week, including a royal visit from Britain's King Charles III and the Pope's trip to Marseille, as well as the ongoing Rugby World Cup.

France is at the start of "a particularly intense week in terms of public order" that requires an "exceptional mobilisation" of security forces, Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin was quoted as saying in a bulletin sent to regional authorities at the weekend.

The British king and queen arrive in Paris on Wednesday before heading to Bordeaux on Friday.

And Pope Francis I will hold mass at the Marseille Vélodrome on Saturday, with French President Emmanuel Macron in attendance.

The weekend also sees the next round of matches in the Rugby World Cup, which France is hosting across several cities, and activists have called for protests against police brutality.

Darmanin called for reinforcements to protect the high-level visitors and the public, as well as preventing criminals seeking to "take advantage of these circumstances" to commit violence while police are busy securing big events.

Police forces will be ramped up through the week to culminate in 30,000 officers on the streets on Saturday, including anti-riot squads and military police.

Paris also hosts the Techno Parade the same day.

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