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  • Explosion Kills Two in 2014 Olympic City


    "Sochi 2014 and the International Olympic Committee will work closely to develop a security program to the highest international standards," said Sochi 2014 communications head Anna Kharnas. (ATR)
    (ATR) The 2014 Olympic hosts pledge a safe Games after two people die in an explosion on a beach 16 km from the center of Sochi.

    A bag picked up by a woman and man on a seaside road exploded at approximately 10:25 a.m., killing both and injuring four others, Russian media reported.

    The Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee told ATR that it is in close contact with city authorities and will issue an update when the situation has been clarified.

    "Safety and security are of paramount importance," says Head of Communications Anna Kharnas, adding that her city has extensive experience protecting VIPs and visitors.

    "[Sochi] is a residence for Russia's president and a host for a number of high profile international events, government meetings and summits," she said.

    Some four million tourists also visit the resort annually.

    Russian authorities have yet to announce an explanation for the explosion.

    The IOC believes that Sochi's proposed Games-time security measures are sufficient for a safe event, according to the 2014 Evaluation Commission Report from last year. The Russian federal government has guaranteed all security costs, while the organizing committee has budgeted another $32 million for additional private security, equipment and training.

    Sochi is some 30 km from the border with the breakaway region of Abkhazia in Georgia, where separatists are active. The city is also home to some criminal gangs.

    The explosion happened as Russia House, the country's private Olympic hospitality center, opened its doors in Beijing.

    Vladimir Ustinov, the presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District, has been assigned to take personal control of the investigation.

    Written by Maggie Lee

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