IOC ‘confident’ Games will be safe

The International Olympic Committee president says he has confidence that Russian authorities will deliver a “safe and secure” Games in Sochi.

Thomas Bach wrote to President Vladimir Putin to express condolences for the “despicable” attacks that struck Volgograd within 24 hours.

Investigators say the attacks on a railway station and trolleybus, which killed at least 31 people, were linked.

They struck just over a month before the Winter Olympics begin.

Volgograd was also targeted in October, when a suspected female suicide bomber killed six people in an attack on a bus.

It is being widely assumed in Russia that the people who carried out the Volgograd bombings were involved in the Islamist-inspired insurgency against Russian rule in the Caucasus republics of Chechnya and Dagestan, and that the target was the Games, says the BBC’s Moscow correspondent Daniel Sandford.

In a statement, Russia’s foreign ministry did not blame any particular group but likened the attacks to acts by militants in the United States, Syria and elsewhere.

It called for international solidarity in the fight against “an insidious enemy that can only be defeated together”, reported Reuters news agency.

Regional Governor Sergei Bozhenov said the bombings were a “serious test” for all Volgograd residents and all Russians.

Russians nervous
Investigators say at least 14 people were killed in a suicide bombing on a trolleybus in Volgograd on Monday morning.

It came a day after 17 people died in another suicide attack at the central station in the city. Scores were injured in the two attacks.

In his statement, Mr Bach said he was “certain that everything will be done to ensure the security of the athletes and all the participants of the Olympic Games”, which open on 7 February.

But correspondents say despite intense security in Sochi, Russians are palpably nervous that following these attacks in Volgograd – which lies 700km north-east of Sochi – bombers could also strike elsewhere.

The following two tabs change content below.