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Silent Nights and Silent Days

Bali on High Security Alert for the Christmas and New Year's Holiday.

(12/23/2006) Bali's Chief of Police Paulus Purwoko has mobilized 7,000 police personnel or nearly two-thirds of his available staff to ensure the Christmas and New Year's holidays in Bali passes without incident.

Despite the significant deployment of police, Chief Purwoko has issued instructions to local places of worship to undertake security precautions, including instructing those attending service not to carry bags or parcels into local churches. According to the Chief, cooperation from local worshippers will assist police and security personnel in their efforts to prevent any terrorist acts.

In comments to the local press, Bali's police chief emphasized that community participation and support is essential to any effort to maintain the peace.

According to various reports in the local press, in addition to the large increase in security personnel on duty over the holiday period, preparedness for the always-fragile holiday period also includes special paramilitary response teams on stand by; guard dogs at airports and sea ports around Bali; and sniper teams standing by for instant deployment.