World

Geneva police authorize weekend public events despite hunt for alleged IS-linked suspects

  • Members of the Swiss police bomb squad observe an area of the Geneva airport where an abandoned luggage was found during a high level of alert, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015.  Geneva security officials say public events including a beloved December costume parade will go ahead as planned this weekend, a day after announcing a heightened security alert and a hunt for suspects allegedly linked to the radical Islamic State group.  (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

    Members of the Swiss police bomb squad observe an area of the Geneva airport where an abandoned luggage was found during a high level of alert, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Geneva security officials say public events including a beloved December costume parade will go ahead as planned this weekend, a day after announcing a heightened security alert and a hunt for suspects allegedly linked to the radical Islamic State group. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Security  officers control the area in front of the  French consulate  due to a high level of alert, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Geneva security officials say public events including a beloved December costume parade will go ahead as planned this weekend, a day after announcing a heightened security alert and a hunt for suspects allegedly linked to the radical Islamic State group.  (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

    Security officers control the area in front of the French consulate due to a high level of alert, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Geneva security officials say public events including a beloved December costume parade will go ahead as planned this weekend, a day after announcing a heightened security alert and a hunt for suspects allegedly linked to the radical Islamic State group. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police  control the area in front of the  French consulate  due to a high level of alert, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Geneva security officials say public events including a beloved December costume parade will go ahead as planned this weekend, a day after announcing a heightened security alert and a hunt for suspects allegedly linked to the radical Islamic State group.  (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)

    Police control the area in front of the French consulate due to a high level of alert, in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Geneva security officials say public events including a beloved December costume parade will go ahead as planned this weekend, a day after announcing a heightened security alert and a hunt for suspects allegedly linked to the radical Islamic State group. (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Security officials in Geneva said Friday that public events, including a beloved December costume parade, will go ahead as planned this weekend despite heightened security measures and an ongoing hunt for suspects allegedly linked to the radical Islamic State group.

Swiss officials announced enhanced vigilance a day earlier and said Geneva police were searching for at least four suspects allegedly linked to IS and believed to be plotting a "specific" attack in the city. Authorities have not identified the suspects.

The Geneva department of security said in a statement Friday that "the level of vigilance remains unchanged for now" and that the reinforced police deployments will be maintained. It said the public can stay informed through a mobile phone app.

The greater vigilance has meant the public, private security teams and others have been on a greater lookout for suspicious activities: At Geneva's airport, bomb squads cordoned off and suspended access to some areas to deal with two pieces of abandoned luggage.

Airport spokesman Bertrand Staempfli says no bomb was found and flights were not delayed or disrupted. Authorities located the owner of one bag found abandoned near a security checkpoint, and another bag was destroyed by bomb squads.

Staempfli said bomb alerts typically happen at least once a week at the airport, but authorities received more reports from passers-by and security teams on Friday.

Across town, the head of Geneva security met with the top official at the U.N. office in Geneva, one of the city's many diplomatic sites where guards carrying submachine guns have been deployed.

Michele Zaccheo, a U.N. spokesman in Geneva, said there was "no specific threat" targeting U.N. personnel, and insisted "We are taking the right kinds of precautionary measures."

Among other events, Geneva hosts a centuries-old commemoration called "Escalade" this weekend recalling a 1602 battle in which citizens repulsed Savoy invaders.

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Milos Krivokapic contributed from Geneva.