First Czech victim of terrorism, country to test its readiness in case of attack

Photo: CTK

The Czech Republic has its first victim of terrorism. Twenty-four year old Petr Koran worked for a travel agency in Sharm el-Sheikh. He was sitting in a café when the bombs went off. Another Czech sustained light injuries in the explosions.

Photo: CTK
According to the Foreign Ministry's estimates, there are between 1,500 and 2,000 Czech holidaymakers in Egypt's Red Sea resorts. Around 500 of them decided to cut short their stay and have already returned home onboard two Czech Airlines specials. More are expected to return on Czech Airlines regular flights and several charter planes to be dispatched to Egypt in the coming days.

Czech top officials condemned the terrorist attacks in Egypt which killed around 90 people. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda said the most important thing was not to let the terrorists impose an atmosphere of fear upon us.

Following the terrorist attacks in London on July 7th the Czech Republic reinforced police patrols at key sites including the Prague metro, railways, airports and strategic buildings. But the Czech authorities decided not to further increase the security measures after the other series of explosions in London and the most recent attack in Egypt.

Photo: CTK
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said the security measures now in effect were sufficient and the country could not do much more at the moment but he said it would be worthwhile to test the country's preparedness in dealing with the consequences of a terrorist attack. Members of the integrated rescue system are expected to stage an exercise simulating an emergency operation in the wake of a terrorist attack some time in the autumn.

Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan has summoned a meeting of the Central Crisis Committee to test its readiness. The committee includes representatives of the interior, defence and health ministries, as well as members of the Czech Republic's intelligence services.

According to a spokesman, the country's counter-intelligence service the BIS is currently exchanging intelligence with more than 50 partner services in almost 40 countries. The BIS says it is in contact also with some countries in North Africa and in the context of growing risk the service is considering establishing relations in several other countries.