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POLICE

Sarkozy to be guarded by ten police officers

French ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy has been allocated 10 police officers to provide security for him and his family at an annual cost of €700,000 ($880,000), a report said on Tuesday.

Sarkozy to be guarded by ten police officers
Remi Jouan

Sarkozy’s aides refused to confirm or deny the report on the website of Paris Match magazine when contacted by AFP, but said that it was the police and not the politician himself who decided on his level of security.

State accounts show that the average cost of deploying a police officer to protect a top politician is €72,000 a year.

The current president and government ministers benefit from permanent police protection, as do all former heads of state, prime ministers and interior ministers.

All other ministers get six months of police protection when they leave office.

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POLICE

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”

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