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Winter Olympics: Two Austrians get kidnap threats on eve of Games

Published on Feb 4, 2014 10:37 PM
 
Austria's Marlies Schild reacts after winning the women's giant slalom World Cup race in the Tyrolean ski resort of Lienz, on Dec 29, 2013. Two Austrian competitors have received kidnap threats on the eve of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, heightening security concerns at the Games and triggering an investigation by counter-terrorism experts. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

VIENNA (REUTERS) - Two Austrian competitors have received kidnap threats on the eve of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, heightening security concerns at the Games and triggering an investigation by counter-terrorism experts.

It was not clear who made the threats, in a letter to the national Olympic Committee, but Islamist militants have warned of attacks to undermine President Vladimir Putin's hopes of using the Games to show Russia is a safe, modern state.

Austrian media named the two competitors as skier Marlies Schild and skeleton racer Janine Flock but the government and sports officials declined to identify them.

The threatening letter was the latest of several to be sent in the run-up to the Games, which open on Friday. Several countries, including the United States, said they had received "terrorist" threats last month but the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said they posed no danger.

 
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