Press safety group issues warning on Sochi Olympics

Jan. 22, 2014 at 10:10 AM
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LONDON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- An organization monitoring the safety of members of the press warned the threat of a terrorist attack on the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, was high.

"The threat of an attack by Islamist insurgents is high," the International News Safety Institute said in an advisory Tuesday.

Russia's state-supported news agency RIA Novosti reports security is tight in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi ahead of the February start of the Winter Games. More than 30 people were killed in twin bombings in nearby Vologograd last month.

The U.S. government issued a statement this week saying it was offering its "full assistance" to Russia on securing this year's Winter Olympic Games.

The news institute, which has headquarters in London, said the Russian government has set aside nearly $2 billion to provide security for the Games and set up a 1,500-mile security area around venues in Sochi.

"The move is a bid to prevent infiltration by terrorists; several bomb attacks have taken place in the region in the past few months," it warned.

The 2014 Winter Olympic Games begin Feb. 7 and run through Feb. 13. The Paralympic Games follow in March.

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