US issues travel alert for Sochi Olympics

The US State Department has issued a travel alert for Americans planning on traveling to Russia to attend the winter Olympic Games in Sochi, warning them to stay clear of transportation hubs and other crowded areas, in part because of recent terrorism.

The State Department alert, issued Friday, comes one day after FBI director James Comey announced that the bureau will send dozens of agents to Moscow and Sochi, where they will rendezvous with their counterparts in the Russian intelligence service to coordinate and boost security efforts.

“Securing any Olympics is an enormous task,” Comey told reporters Thursday. “I think it’s particularly challenging in Sochi because of its proximity to areas of unrest and sources of a terrorist threat.”

The travel alert did not specify any particular threat and noted that Russia has promised to protect athletes, fans, and infrastructure throughout the Games, which run from February 7 to February 23.

“There is no indication of a specific threat to US institutions or citizens, but US citizens should be aware of their personal surroundings and follow good security practices,” it said.

Terrorist activity has been a problem in the nation, with 34 people killed and 77 injured in December in two bombings in the city of Volgograd in southern Russia.


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