- Associated Press - Thursday, February 16, 2017

BERLIN (AP) - Cities across Germany are planning to increase their security at this year’s Carnival celebrations citing the continued terror threat the country faces.

Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker said Thursday that trucks will be banned from the city’s downtown area and several streets will be barricaded with concrete blocks, according to the dpa news agency.

The measures were being put into place to avoid attacks like the one in Berlin in December when a Tunisian man drove a truck into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 people and wounding dozens of others. It was the first mass-casualty Islamic extremist attack in Germany.

The western cities of Duesseldorf, Essen and Bonn also announced additional security measures, including arming police officers with submachine guns, to protect the popular street parades.

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