A ‘bunkered Holy Week’ was Rome’s answer to terrorism threat

(Crux) The center of the city of Rome was on complete lockdown on the occasion of Easter Mass at St. Peter’s basilica. As the risk of terrorism escalates globally following the recent attacks in Sweden and Egypt, the city of Rome heightened security measures.

The Roman police established three maximum security “red areas” including the main access point to the Vatican presided over by armed forces while the city prepared for approximately 50,000 faithful to visit the capital.

The security delegate of the Roman mayor Virginia Raggi, Marco Cardilli, stated that he hoped the Easter celebration “will see the repeat of the positive experience of Palm Sunday, with strict controls in the area of St. Peter and making the large area around Via delle Conciliazione (the main artery leading to St. Peter’s square) pedestrian only.”

About 1,000 armed policemen were deployed to cover all exits and entrances to ensure that the Easter celebration be safe for visitors and citizens. Metal detectors and checks ensured that no threats had access to the celebration.

Cement blockades were placed near the main streets to the Vatican so that vehicles would be prohibited from going off-road and harming civilians, a technique often used by terrorists recently to spread fear and devastation. [More]