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Hundreds of police to guard Opera Ball guests

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Debutants at the opening of the opera ball. Photo: Gryffindor/Wikimedia
12:30 CET+01:00
Hundreds of police will be on duty to guard against possible terrorists attacks on the night of the Vienna Opera Ball, which is held at the State Opera House and attracts celebrities from around the globe.

The 5,000 guests attending the Opera Ball on Thursday night will have their bags checked and more than 200 uniformed and plain clothes police will be on duty in and around the opera house.

Sniffer dogs will be checking for explosive devices and members of the special forces Cobra unit will be on standby. The Ringstrasse road will be closed during the event.

Police have said that there has been no direct threat to the Opera Ball but that they are taking extra precautions due to the increased threat of terror attacks across Europe.

Police spokesman Patrick Maierhofer said that there will be two checkpoints near the opera house where people may be asked to show proof of their identity. 

French actor Alain Delon will be a guest at this year's Opera Ball, along with American actress Brooke Shields who is coming as Austrian entrepreneur Richard Lugner's guest.

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Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Chancellor Werner Faymann will also attend.

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