POLICE are beefing up armed patrols to guard against possible Islamic State terrorist attacks over the holiday period.

Officers have armed themselves with assault rifles and have been instructed to shoot first to ‘neutralise’ any potential threat, according to El Mundo.

THREAT: Spanish police on patrol in Madrid
THREAT: Spanish police on patrol in Madrid

Following attacks in France, Belgium and Germany, Spain remains on a Level Four alert, the second highest possible alert.

“We have been trained in the belief that shooting is the last thing to do in a conflict moment,” a police source said.

“To shoot, it has always been said, is a defence mechanism that can lead to problems of all kinds, because it can produce an error or, simply, because it always brings legal problems.

“In the face of the IS threat, we are trying to change the mentality regarding the use of weapons.”

In Malaga, metal bollards have been installed at strategic points around the city to protect New Years Eve revellers from lorry attacks like those in Berlin or Nice.

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