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Paris cancels key summer events amid heightened security

Thomas Samson, AFP | Archival picture shows pedestrians taking over the iconic Champs-Élysées boulevard during a no-cars day in Paris in 2015.

Paris officials on Wednesday cancelled a handful of much-anticipated summer events as lawmakers approved a motion extending the nation’s state of emergency for an additional six months.

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Police officials in the French capital cancelled open-air movie screenings at La Villette and other venues, a car-free day on the city's famed Champs-Elysees boulevard, and the Nike-sponsored street basketball tournament Quai 54.

However, other popular events – such as the outdoor Quartier d'Été theatre shows and the FNAC LIVE music festival – were running as planned.

Police are also deploying in larger numbers around Paris Plages, a month-long beach event that kicked off Wednesday with sand and summer activities on embankments along the River Seine and the Bassin de la Villette.

Schedules for other prominent summer venues far from the French capital, including the Avignon theatre festival and Jazz in Marciac, have not been modified.

Paris police will now use concrete barriers to block areas with large crowds in hopes of preventing the kind of carnage that occurred in Nice, when a driver rammed his truck through a crowd of pedestrians, killing 84 people.

No official list naming the dead from the July 14 Bastille Day rampage in the southern French city has been released but it's known they include many numerous foreigners, including Americans, Germans, Ukrainians, Swiss, Tunisians, Polish and a Russian.

President Francois Hollande said 15 truck attack victims are still hospitalised and in critical condition.

Officials say five unidentified people remain in custody for possible links to the Nice truck attack and could face terrorism charges.

France's National Assembly voted to extend the state of emergency – a security measure that's been in place since the November 13 Paris attacks that left 130 dead and were claimed by the Islamic State group.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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