Thousands of cops on standby to break up New Year parties

Ready to act on intelligence and neighbors’ tipoffs, 2.000 police officers, backed by surveillance helicopters, have been mobilized to break up New Year parties Thursday night when the number of celebrants tops lockdown limits. Roadblocks have been thrown up in the main towns and along the highways. Small shop owners are preparing to defy official orders and open for business in protest against having been closed during the most profitable shopping seasons for buying presents.

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