Off-duty US troops banned from Paris after attacks

WASHINGTON: The United States military banned off-duty personnel from the French capital Paris on Monday as a security measure following last week’s devastating militant attacks.


A statement from US European Command said the ban applies to all military personnel and their families as well as civilian Defense Department employees and contractors.

Personnel that want to travel unofficially to parts of France outside a 50-kilometer radius of Paris must seek approval from a senior officer.

“This is a precautionary measure to keep our personnel and families safe in light of the recent attacks,” the EUCOM statement said.

“This is also an effort to help minimize tourist traffic at the borders in France, and particularly in Paris, as the French authorities continue their investigation.”

No time limit was set on the ban.

The ban does not apply to personnel such as military attaches or Marine guards assigned to diplomatic posts in France, nor to those transiting through airports.

On Friday, a group of suspected militants attacked civilian targets in Paris, killing 129 people outside a stadium and in bars and at a concert.

France’s President Francois Hollande has imposed a state of emergency across France and launched air strikes in Syria as part of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State.

Paris is a popular destination for US tourists, including US military personnel on leave from European bases and the NATO headquarters in nearby Belgium.

In August, two off-duty US servicemen helped overpower a militant gunman who boarded a Paris-bound train in Belgium and attempted to murder the passengers.