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Rio security forces complete Olympic simulation drills


Brasilia, July 19: Security forces in Rio de Janeiro have successfully completed two large-scale simulation exercises to prepare for next month's Olympic Games.

An operation aimed at averting a terrorist threat was carried out at Deodoro – home to the second largest Games venue cluster – on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, a full-rehearsal of the security plan for the opening ceremony took place at the Maracana stadium, the organisers announced on Monday.

Security coordinator Christiano Sampaio said the drills were based on input and expertise from 55 countries and regions, Xinhua news agency reported.

"We're exchanging experiences with various countries, all of which will be reflected here in Rio de Janeiro," Sampaio told Rio2016.com, adding "This exercise had been previously planned, though with the recent happenings in Nice we are ever more alert."

The exercise at Deodoro included around 1,000 security personnel from 20 institutions. Among them were Rio's special operations police (BOPE), the army and the fire brigade.

The simulation required police to enter a train carriage and defuse a bomb using a robot.

On Sunday, around 2000 security personnel simulated the transportation of athletes and officials to the Maracana stadium.

"We are confident that now we are ready for the opening ceremony and to transport athletes and authorities," said Felipe Seixas, director of special projects and coordinator of the simulation.

Seixas added that all security forces would work 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

"We're not preparing for a war, we're preparing for a party, obviously while taking into consideration all possible risks," he added.

Brazil plans to deploy 85,000 soldiers and police during the Olympic Games starting from August 5, about double the number used at the London 2012 Games. 

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