Europe

Madrid bans heavy vehicles Jan. 3-5 in anti-terror measure

Madrid town hall is banning private vehicles of 3.5 tons or more from entering the city in the run-up to major festive parades next week, so as to avert truck attacks like those in Berlin recently and Nice last year.

The town hall said the measure is preventive and not due to police fears of an imminent attack.

The measure will apply between Jan. 3 and Jan. 5, the eve of the Christian feast of the Epiphany when tens of thousands of people attend parades to celebrate the arrival of the magi.

Spain has been on one step below maximum national security alert since attacks in Europe and elsewhere in 2015. Police have arrested 175 suspected jihadi activists in the period, including two this week in Madrid.