Happy New Year: World welcomes 2016 despite terror fears

In Dubai, a vast blaze ripped through a luxury 63-story hotel, the Address Downtown, close to the world's tallest tower where people had gathered to ring in the New Year.

By: AFP | Rio De Janeiro | Updated: January 1, 2016 10:49 am
The 2016 appears during the 5-minute video performance displayed on the Arc de Triomphe as part of New Year's Eve celebrations on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo) The 2016 appears during the 5-minute video performance displayed on the Arc de Triomphe as part of New Year’s Eve celebrations on the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. (AP Photo)

Millions of people around the world welcomed in the New Year on high security alert, with Munich stations evacuated over an imminent terror threat and fireworks cancelled in Paris and Brussels, while a huge fire ripped through a Dubai hotel.

German police warned people to stay away from two of Munich’s railway stations and avoid large gatherings after “indications that a terror attack” was being planned by Islamists in the southern German city.

Authorities said early Friday that the threat involved a suspected suicide bomb attack by the Islamic State group. A police spokeswoman told AFP they had “reliable information” that the plot targeted festivities under way on New Year’s Eve.

PHOTOS: How the world celebrated New Year 2016

Elsewhere in Europe, terror fears also loomed large, with firework displays canceled in Brussels and Paris, just weeks after jihadists killed 130 people on the streets of the French capital.

More than 100,000 police were deployed throughout France to guard celebrations, as defiant Parisians turned out on the Champs Elysees to greet 2016 in the biggest public gatherings since the November 13 attacks.

In his New Year address, President Francois Hollande said France “has not finished with terrorism yet” and that the threat of another attack “remains at its highest level.”

Belgian police were holding five people over an alleged New Year attack plot in Brussels, as well as arresting a 10th suspect over the Paris attacks.

In Dubai, a vast blaze ripped through a luxury 63-story hotel, the Address Downtown, close to the world’s tallest tower where people had gathered to ring in the New Year.

But authorities put on a spectacular show, refusing to let the hotel blaze, which injured 16 people, disrupt celebrations.

Festivities went ahead as planned and crowds cheered the arrival of 2016 with bursts of light and colour in a massive fireworks show starting at the landmark Burj Khalifa skyscraper, even as smoke billowed from the nearby blaze.

Sydney, traditionally the first to host a major New Year’s bash, kicked off the global festivities when it lit up the skies with pyrotechnics at the stroke of midnight.

After Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa, the chimes of midnight will finally move across the Americas.

Jakarta remained on high alert after anti-terror police foiled detailed plans for an alleged New Year suicide attack in the Indonesian capital.

Turkish police detained two Islamic State suspects allegedly planning to stage attacks in the centre of the capital Ankara.

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  1. K
    kushal kumar
    Jan 2, 2016 at 2:43 am
    While the year 2015 is closing today on 31 December 2015, yielding place to new year 2016 with a heavy load of substantial concerns identified by this Vedic astrology writer on 23rd October 2014 , over a year past from now , in article - " Months of substantial concern for India in next year 2015" - published online at thesop. It may be said that months November - December 2015 ( and obviously spill over) were predicted to be more grim and complex. Readers may have noted that prediction was sadly accurate in as much as Chennai- Tamil Nadu had a catastrophe in worst ever floods , National Herald Case got momentum in which, during the period, his had to appear before a Delhi court , Delhi was choked with smog harmful to lungs in particular , demolition of Jhuggies in Shakurbasti Railway station in Delhi , mive protests in Nirbhaya case in the Capital , BSF plane crashed in Dwaraka in which all on board died, allegations of corruption or wrong-doing were levelled by the first time heard , the Wikileaks For India , against DDCA , there were reported raids in Delhi Govt Secretariat by CBI , rift between AAP and BJP came out stronger in public, some defamation cases were filed against AAP members, Northern India was shaken by earthquake more than once but fortunately no particular damage was reported , security concerns in the North had to be tackled in which many lives were lost and latest is Delhi Govt having uneasy times with its senior officers. Briefly speaking , these were unfortunate happenings or stories of November- December 2015 having much to do with the new year 2016 just to begin in a day. Readers may be interested to know the predictions of this writer for year 2016. Yes, there are but a bit of concern about the way these can be rightly put is lingering. Anyway, this writer wishes that the Supreme Power said to be empowering us, may grant us more courage to face whatever is repugnant to us and also grace to enjoy that part which comes in harmony with our aspirations.
    Reply
    1. M
      Me Marathi
      Jan 1, 2016 at 10:59 am
      The European nations should have made a target to evaporate islamic sc*ms from jihadistan as new year resolution. Should eliminate atleast 1000 islamic jihadis daily, worldwide.
      Reply