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Olympics: Putin promises secure Sochi Games

Published on Jan 18, 2014 7:14 AM
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Security guards check visitors at the entrance to the olympic park in Adler near Sochi on Jan 16, 2014. Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to ensure full security at next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi despite fears of a resumption of an Islamist-linked suicide bombing campaign. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to ensure full security at next month's Winter Olympics in Sochi despite fears of a resumption of an Islamist-linked suicide bombing campaign.

"Our goal - the goal of the organisers - is to ensure the security of Olympic Games participants and guests," Mr Putin said in a fragment of a pre-recorded interview with foreign reporters aired on Russian state television on Friday.

"If we betray weakness, betray fear - display our fear - then we will be helping terrorists achieve their goals," said Mr Putin.

"I think that the international community... must unite its efforts in the fight with such manifestations as acts of terror, the murder of innocent civilians."

End of December suicide bombings at a railway station and on a trolleybus in the southern Russian city of Volgograd that investigators linked to suspects from the mostly Muslim republic of Dagestan killed 34 and injured dozens.

Islamist insurgents based in North Caucasus republics such as Dagestan, who are seeking their own independent state, have vowed to disrupt the Sochi Games in order to undermine Putin.