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WYD Krakow: Ms Abdelmoula (WYD spokesperson), “no cancellations from young people following terrorist attacks”

“Following the terrorist attacks in Brussels and, more recently, in Nice, we have not received any cancellations from pilgrims. All registered groups have confirmed their attendance and participation in the event in Poland”, said Dorota Abdelmoula, the spokesperson for WYD in Krakow. As she pointed out, “only a few individual travellers have cancelled their registrations, without however specifying their reasons. And many groups are registered for WYD and are about to come to Poland and Krakow”. “In order to obtain a visa – the spokesperson explained – one needed to submit a letter of recommendation from one’s Bishop or the Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference. Young WYD pilgrims do not come here by chance; they are strongly motivated by their faith and desire for communion”. The WYD Organizing Committee is working in close cooperation with the Polish authorities. Among the steps taken, in line with the Polish counter-terrorism law, there is also an airlift plan to carry any possible wounded to other hospitals, should there be a shortage of places in Krakow. Security was stepped up to protect pilgrims with 10,000 police officers patrolling Krakow and other areas, and thousands of soldiers. 240 bomb disposal experts will inspect the Campus Misericordiae stretching over 240 hectares, which will be equipped with three lighting towers and many electric generators. As reported by Marek Pietrzak, from the Polish Army High Command, two medical helicopters and two C-295 M planes equipped with intensive care units will be made available. The army will also provide tents, blankets, and 10 tanker trucks with a capacity of 10,000 litres each to ensure the provision of water to pilgrims. 360 military officers will help the civil services in their crowd marshalling task during WYD, 200 will help in the food distribution, 100 will build emergency shelters for the event, and 150 will support police officers in other tasks. Finally, some 750 Polish and foreign soldiers will attend WYD as pilgrims. Over 100 detection dogs will help the Polish police to perform security checks during WYD. They will be used to sniff out potential explosives in the places visited by Pope Francis and young pilgrims.

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