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Olympics: Italy receives another Sochi terror threat

Malagò says Italians don't feel 'afraid'

23 January, 12:16
Olympics: Italy receives another Sochi terror threat (ANSA) - Rome, January 23 - Italy has received another threat to its Olympic team for next month's Winter Games in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, the head of the national Olympic committee CONI said Thursday. "We don't feel afraid," said CONI President Giovanni Malagò. "We're in good company," he added referring to other nations who have received threats. CONI and other Olympic committees, including Hungary's, Britain's and Slovenia's, received similar threats on Wednesday.

Malagò said he was confident about the security measures for the February 7-23 Games, which an Islamist group from Russia's North Caucasus has threatened to target.

"There are professionals who are used to managing these problems and they have given us reassurances," he said.

"Up to today, the situation is under control". Italy will take a team of around 120 athletes to Sochi. The government has said Premier Enrico Letta intends to go to the opening ceremony, unless something unexpected occurs.

The threats come after Russian security officials said they were hunting three potential female suicide bombers ahead of the games. One of the suspects, 22-year-old Ruzanna Ibragimova - the widow of a suicide bomber - was reported to be at large in Sochi itself. The other two suspects were identified as Zaira Aliyeva, 26, and Dzhannet Tsakhayeva, 34. Police said the three had been trained "to perpetrate acts of terrorism". Last month the southern Russian city of Volgograd was rocked by two suicide bombings, which killed 34 and injured dozens more.

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