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Swiss army to provide security at summit

Swiss soldiers will be deployed for the first time to provide additional security at the annual meeting in Davos of the World Economic Forum, a government commission has decided.

This content was published on January 17, 2000 - 17:22

Swiss soldiers will be deployed for the first time to provide additional security at the annual meeting in Davos of the World Economic Forum (WEF), a government commission has decided.

The security commission, which includes defence minister, Adolf Ogi, the foreign minister, Joseph Deiss, and the justice minister, Ruth Metzler, said a special forces unit, counting about 70 soldiers, would support local police units in the eastern resort of Davos.

The committee said the announced attendance of President Clinton at the meeting and fears of illegal demonstrations made it necessary to take extra precautions.

It is believed the military will be used to safeguard buildings while police will concentrate on protecting the delegates themselves.

Following an incident at the weekend in Davos, when a firework shattered windows at the congress centre, fears that anti-globalisation protestors will try to wreck the high-profile gathering are growing. Demonstrators who turned the World Trade Organisation's November meeting in Seattle into a battlefield have threatened to do the same to Davos.

From staff and wire reports

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