Russia to step up security for Olympics amid safety concerns

By Natalie Crofts | Posted - Dec 31st, 2013 @ 6:48pm

SALT LAKE CITY — With the Winter Olympics in Sochi less than six weeks away, Russia is planning to increase security measures amid concerns about safety.

Two recent suicide bombings have highlighted Russia's long fight with a growing Islamic insurgency. In an attempt to counter any attacks on the games, 37,000 police and Interior Ministry troops, a special forces army Spetsnax brigade and a heavily armoured train will be deployed from Moscow for the Winter Olympics.

The Russian government has long been fighting a growing Islamist insurgency in the North Caucus, with 2,329 terror related crimes occurring from 1994 to 2012. The estimated death toll was 4,667 up to Sept. 2013, excluding the Chechen and Georgian wars.

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The suicide bombings killed at least 31 people on Sunday and Monday and have made athletes especially concerned about safety, according to the Associated Press. The attacks were in Volograd, a Southern rail hub.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet, but Doku Umarov, the leader of the insurgency who has ties to al-Qaeda, recently called for attacks on the Winter Olympics.

KSL.com will be counting down to the Sochi Winter Olympics with features on the games every Tuesday and Thursday. All Olympic stories can be found at ksl.com/sochi.

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