Holy pilgrimage to Lourdes receives increased security over fears of attack by Muslims

About 300 police officers and gendarmes were deployed to the streets today ahead of the annual Catholic pilgrimage this weekend, a major religious event which draws thousands of worshippers to the town each year.

Béatrice Lagarde, the local prefect, said: “The terrorist threat remains high in France. And even though Lourdes has never been targeted by radical Islamists, a terrorist attack is a possibility we cannot ignore.”