04:38 GMT19 February 2020
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    Additional security measures for places of worship might be introduced in Austria, such as "an enhanced presence of police in public areas in general and individual measures based on a needs assessment," after the attack on a church in northern France, according to a spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Austrian authorities are in contact with religious communities over protective security measures for places of worship following the attack on a church in northern France, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    On Tuesday, two armed men took five people hostage at a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, Normandy. The attackers were later killed, while at least one hostage was murdered and three people were wounded, one severely. Soon after the incident, French media reported that one of the attackers was extradited back to France after trying to go to Syria in 2015 and put under police supervision.

    "Authorities are in contact with communities, individual measures based on needs assessment [are being taken]," Karl-Heinz Grundboeck said, when asked if religious communities have recently been consulted on measures to enhance security at places of worship.

    He stressed that additional security measures for places of worship might be introduced in Austria, such as "an enhanced presence of police in public areas in general and individual measures based on a needs assessment."

    Following the attack on the church in Normandy, claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, which is banned in Russia and many other countries, UK police urged religious institutions to assess the security measures currently in place. The Home Office also unveiled a multi-million dollar security funding scheme for places of worship in England and Wales to provide them with various equipment like CCTV, fencing, alarms and locks.


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    security measures, Normandy, France, Austria
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