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Clasico considered 'high-risk' event, unprecedented security planned

MADRID -- Spanish officials are promising unprecedented security measures for Saturday's football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona following the attacks in Paris.

At a special security meeting prompted by last week's events in France, officials declared the league match between the rivals a high-risk event.

Spain's secretary of state for security said after Wednesday's meeting that the measures will be "more than enough" to guarantee the safety of all of those involved in the game at Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Francisco Martinez said fans should "trust" the local police forces and the security measures that will be in place, and should plan on attending the match with "normality" and "tranquility."

It's not uncommon for the high-profile Clasico to be labeled a high-risk game, but usually it happens because of threats of fan violence, not terrorism.

The extraordinary meeting in Madrid happened only two days after the cancellation of Spain's friendly against Belgium in Brussels because of security concerns, and a day after the friendly between Germany and the Netherlands was called off because local government officials said there was a serious bomb threat at the stadium in Hannover.

Spanish officials said that for now there was no reason to consider cancelling the highly anticipated league game, which marks the first encounter by the two sides this season.

"There will be an operation without any precedents when it comes to sporting events," Martinez said. "We have to maintain normality, but without forgetting the situation in which we are in."

Details of the security operation were not immediately made available, and its full scope would only be discussed in another meeting on Thursday.

More than 1,500 police officers are expected to work during the game, and officials said several security zones will be implemented outside of the Bernabeu, keeping those without tickets or credentials away from the 80,000-capacity venue.

"The measures will be enough, more than enough," Martinez said. "We will have all the needed measures in place to guarantee the absolute normality for this event."

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