China Guarantees Safe Olympics After Terror Attack

BEIJING – China said Tuesday it could guarantee a safe Olympic Games, one day after a deadly attack on a police post in the nation’s northwest raised new fears about security for the event.

Sun Weide, a spokesman for the Beijing Olympic organising committee, said the authorities were confident they could deal with any kind of threat to the Games, which open in Beijing in three days time.

“We can guarantee a safe and peaceful Olympic Games,” he said.

Sun said earlier there was still no information directly linking Monday’s attack in Xinjiang, in which 16 police were reported killed, with the Olympics.

But China has said repeatedly that a major terrorist threat emanates from Xinjiang, a Muslim-populated region that borders Central Asia, and militants from there were planning to stage attacks on the Games.

In the attack, two men from Xinjiang’s ethnic Muslim Uighur group drove a truck at policemen outside their barracks in Kashgar city, then assaulted them with knives, according to the official version in China’s state-run press.

The Australian Olympic team’s deputy chief, Peter Montgomery, told reporters on Tuesday the attack had not raised security concerns for the Australian athletes.

“We have been advising our athletes… that this incident took place 4,000 kilometres (2,500) miles) away,” Montgomery said, adding security in Beijing was already extremely tight.

However he said the Australian Olympic security chief had been in contact with international law enforcement agencies to seek information about the incident. – AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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