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IOC identifies security as big issue

Associated Press

MOSCOW – International Olympic Committee inspectors cited security as a key issue for Moscow’s 2012 Olympic bid Thursday, wrapping up their four-day visit on the same day a prominent businessman survived an assassination attempt just outside the Russian capital.

The head of the IOC’s evaluation commission said Moscow had a “very serious bid” and should not necessarily be considered an outsider against Paris, London, New York and Madrid. The full IOC will vote for the host July 6 in Singapore.

Russia’s security problems were underscored by the attack on Anatoly Chubais, head of the national electricity monopoly and a chief of staff for former President Boris Yeltsin. Assailants detonated a powerful bomb and then fired at his armored limousine. No one was injured.

“It (security) is an important issue. We will discuss this among us,” said Gilbert Felli, vice chairman of the IOC panel. “We have received a very detailed description by law enforcement security on what will be put in place … for the games.”

Panel chairwoman Nawal el Moutawakel echoed that view.

“We have been given all the necessary guarantees,” she said. “Security is at the top of our agenda and so is the agenda of the bidding committee.”

At a separate news conference, Mayor Yuri Luzhkov acknowledged that Moscow has seen business-related and gangland violence since the city hosted the 1980 Olympics. But he said Moscow’s successful hosting of other sports events since showed its ability to guarantee security.

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