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New weapons for special forces police

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New weapons for special forces police
File photo: Paul Gillingwater
13:17 CET+01:00
Austria's special forces police will be reinforced with extra officers, cutting edge technology and weapons and armoured limousines to deal with the higher threat to security from terrorists, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner has said.

The new equipment, which will include the latest video analysis systems and surveillance technology, will cost almost €300 million over the next three years.

An additional 2,000 officers have not yet been included in the budget.

France and Germany have also said they will be boosting their security services after the deadly attacks in Paris ten days ago which killed 130 people.

Mikl-Leitner said the focus will be on strengthening state security, the Federal Criminal Office, and the special forces. "The fight against terror is one which our specialists must take up against these criminals and murderers," she said.

Special forces officers will be equipped with new machine guns, sniper rifles and target devices to help detect targets at long distances and in poor visibility. They will also be issued with a full body armour, including lightweight protective vests, helmets and shields.

Armoured limousines and paramilitary transport vehicles will also be purchased, as a way of defending special forces from terrorists equipped with powerful assault rifles and anti-tank weapons.

Austrian companies may stand to profit from this - a Carinthian company sells armoured limousines made by Audi, BMW, Porsche and Mercedes. And a company in Tyrol makes paramilitary transport vehicles.

The news has been welcomed by the police, with police union chairman Hermann Greylinger saying “wonders will never cease, welcome back to reality, minister”.

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