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European cities on alert ahead of New Year celebrations

Credit: AP

New Year Eve security has been tightened across Europe as thousands of people prepare to celebrate the New Year.

In London, temporary security barriers were erected on the streets and 3,000 police officers will be on patrol during tonight's firework display along the Thames.

Credit: PA

About 600,000 people are expected to gather in Avenue des Champs-Elysees to watch the a fireworks in Paris.

Nearly 100,000 police, gendarmes and soldiers will be deployed across France.

Credit: CCTV+

Less than two weeks after a Iorry drove into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin killing 12 people, security has been ramped up across the German capital as thousands are expected to gather at the Brandenburg Gate for the New Year celebration.

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Explosion rocks German consulate in Afghanistan

An explosion has shaken the German consulate in Afghanistan, a NATO spokesman has said, with reports of a gun battle ensuing.

The blast happened in front of the building in the northern city of Mazari-i-Sharif - with the Taliban issuing a statement claiming they had sent suicide bombers to the consulate to carry out the attack.

Residents reported hearing a "huge explosion" which shattered windows in the surrounding buildings.

Walter Hassmann, the German ambassador to Afghanistan, said the "incident is ongoing" but would not confirm any further details.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties.

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