Europe has rung in the new year despite being on high alert after the Paris attacks in November, in which Islamic State jihadists massacred more than 130 people in a succession of suicide attacks. In view of the situation, the annual New Year fireworks display in Paris and Brussels were cancelled.
Parisians remained defiant as they gathered on the Champs Elysees to welcome the new year, amid a guard of more than 100,000 police. This marked the largest public gathering after the attacks on November 13.
Meanwhile in Belgium, five people were held in a police station over a New Year bombing plot suspicions. The arrest of yet another Paris attack suspect was also announced.
In Germany, police evacuated two stations in Munich less than 30 minutes before the celebrations were due to start, after receiving a tip off about a potential suicide attack by Islamic State jihadists.
Outside Europe, in Dubai, a fire broke out at the Address Downtown, a luxury hotel right next to the Burj Khalifa where people from all around the world had gathered to witness that world’s largest display of fireworks. Sixteen people were injured in the blaze, but the fireworks and celebrations continued undeterred.