• Winter Olympics

IOC: Terrorism will not triumph

ESPN staff
December 30, 2013
Police officers guarded the Volgograd main railway station a day after 17 people were killed in a bomb blast there © Getty Images

IOC president Thomas Bach has promised the Sochi Winter Olympics will be "safe and secure" despite the deadly suicide bombings in southern Russia that have raised terrorism concerns ahead of the Games.

Bach has offered his condolences in a written letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin following Sunday and Monday's attacks in Volgograd that have left more than 30 people dead.

During rush hour on Monday morning a suicide bomber killed 14 people on a bus, just a day after 17 were people lost their lives in a bomb blast at Volgograd's main railway station.

"This is a despicable attack on innocent people and the entire Olympic Movement joins me in utterly condemning this cowardly act,'' Bach said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with the loved ones of the victims.''

Volgograd is roughly 400 miles northeast of Sochi, where the Winter Games will be held from February 7-23.

The bombings came two months after Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov threatened attacks against Russian civilians, including at the Olympics. No one has claimed responsibility for the two attacks yet, however, though Russian authorities believe they were carried out by the same group.

Bach went on to express "our confidence in the Russian authorities to deliver safe and secure games in Sochi.''

"I am certain that everything will be done to ensure the security of the athletes and all the participants of the Olympic Games,'' he said.

"Sadly, terrorism is a global disease but it must never be allowed to triumph. The Olympic Games are about bringing people from all backgrounds and beliefs together to overcome our differences in peaceful way.''

Despite the attacks, Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov says there is no need to step up security at the Games because "everything necessary already has been done.''

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