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Dhaka Tribune

Metal detectors for Moscow after Boston bombs

Update : 27 Apr 2013, 09:16 AM

Metal detectors for spectators will be installed along the entire marathon course at the world athletics championships in August as part of increased security following last week’s Boston bombings, Russian organisers said.

“It definitely has given us an extra headache,” long-serving Russian athletics chief Valentin Balakhnichyov said in reference to the blasts that killed three people and injured 176 at the Boston Marathon.

“The security will certainly be reviewed after what happened in Boston. Airports, hotels, the transit system, places where you have lots of people, are always vulnerable.”

One of the ethnic Chechen brothers suspected of the Boston bombings made a visit last year to Russia’s volatile North Caucasus, where militant groups are fighting to establish an Islamist state.

In a wide-ranging interview with Reuters, Balakhnichyov also emphasised Russia’s tough stance on doping and confirmed that pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva planned to compete in Moscow.

Balakhnichyov said the capital would have a “triple level of protection” during the August 10-18 championships.

“The first level would be the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the police, then we have the city’s own security personnel, and, finally, the security in and around the stadium,” he said.

“Obviously, the marathon requires extra protection, not only for the runners but for spectators as well.”

Men and women will race on an identical course, running alongside some of Moscow’s most famous landmarks, including the Kremlin, and finishing at the Luzhniki stadium.

“The only way to guarantee sufficient security for those coming to watch the races is to install metal detectors along the entire 42.195 kilometres course,” Balakhnichyov said.

“At the same time we don’t want to make Moscow a ghost town. We must make sure that spectators, including foreign guests, are not scared away by overzealous policing.

“Luckily, the marathons are the only events held outside the Luzhniki sports complex. The rest, including race walking, will be held inside the complex,” he added.  

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