Security is top priority, Rio organizers insist as incidents continue

Security is a top priority at the Rio Olympics, its organizers said Thursday, as incidents continued to be reported on the sidelines of the Games.

One day after an attack on an official media bus, a stray bullet was found at the equestrian venue on Wednesday - the second in five days. Three policeman were also injured later Wednesday when they came under gunfire in a favela nearby the Maracana Stadium.

"Security remains the first priority," organizing committee spokesman Mario Andrada told journalists Thursday. "We have to be vigilant and to push the security force to do their best job."

Organizers maintain that the projectile which hit the media bus Tuesday on its way back from the Deodoro venue cluster was a stone rather than a bullet, despite contradicting statements from at least one passenger. Two people were lightly injured by glass shards.

"Every single bus that comes from Deodoro to the Olympic Park in Barra is now escorted ... by a military vehicle," Andrada said.

The bullets that have been found at the equestrian venue in Deodoro, meanwhile, are not believed to have been aimed at that facility.

The first bullet, found last Saturday, had been shot at a police blimp flying over a favela several kilometres away from the equestrian venue and hit the roof of a media tent "at low speed, in an angle that confirms that the tent was not targeted," Andrada said.

The second bullet, found in the stable area, stemmed from shots that were fired when police went to arrest the suspected shooter in the first incident, Andrada said.

"We have all the reasons to believe that the efforts made by the army [in Deodoro] are enough and that the security of everybody there is guaranteed," he added.

International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams noted that every Games has its problems, but said he remains "very confident that these will be looked back on as a landmark Games."

Last update: Thu, 11/08/2016 - 18:14
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