Italy to raise security for EU meeting in Rome: statement

ROME: Italy's Interior Minister Marco Minniti on Thursday ordered increased security for this weekend's meeting of European Union leaders in Rome after an attack in London killed three people, a statement said.

Rome will host on Saturday 27 leaders to mark the 60th anniversary of a treaty that laid the foundation for the European Union. There are also several protests and rallies expected throughout the day in the Italian capital.

Italy's security alert scale is already set at 2, its highest level in the absence of an ongoing attack. Some 3,000 police and security agents had been foreseen, but the number may be raised to 5,000 after the London attack, Rome's il Messaggero newspaper reported on Thursday.

Minniti said more security would be deployed "in areas where there are the biggest crowds" involved in the EU meeting, and also at tourist sites normally crowded with visitors, according to the statement.