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Russians Bombings Raise Olympic Fears

Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes | about 8 months ago

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Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "USA Today reports that two suicide bombings within 24 hours that killed at least 31 people in the southern Russia city of Volgograd, highlight the terror threat Russia faces as it prepares to host the Winter Games in six weeks. A suicide bomber on a bus early Monday in Volgograd killed at least 14 people and left nearly 30 wounded, Russian officials said, a day after another suicide bombing killed at least 17 at a railway station in the city. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but they came several months after Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov called for attacks against civilian targets in Russia. "If you are a terrorist group in the Caucasus, the Sochi Olympics are going to be a very inviting target," says Steven Pifer. Russian President Vladimir Putin has maintained that the Sochi games will be safe and security will be tight. Visitors to Sochi and the surrounding area are subjected to rigorous security checks, and vehicle license plates are monitored. But the deadly blasts in Volgograd highlight the challenge Russian authorities face in policing the rest of the country amid ongoing unrest in the North Caucasus. Current and former American officials say they had confidence in the Russians’ ability to protect Sochi and the Olympic venues. “There’s every belief they’ll make it secure and do whatever it takes to do that,” says one senior law enforcement official. “But it is a large country, and these groups can get a lot of bang for their buck if they are able to do something in the country, wherever it is, during the Olympics.”"

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