Security issues plague Rio Olympics
Rio de Janeiro:
The ongoing Rio Olympics has been hit by several violent incidents, including an atempted mugging which left two people dead here on Saturday.
According to reports by the local media, a 51-year-old woman was shot dead by three men when she tried to ward off their attempt to rob her.
One of the accused was later gunned down by police near the Maracana Stadium, which is the main venue of the Rio Olympics.
“The man was carrying out assaults when a military police officer shot him,” the local police department said in a statement.
“An officer, who arrived in Rio from another part of the country as security reinforcement, was involved in the incident,” the statement added.
Earlier on Saturday, the Rio 2016 organising committee confirmed that a suspicious package was detonated at the Olympic cycle road race venue.
“The security services found a suspicious package close the cycle road race finish line in Copacabana and as a precaution decided to perform a controlled explosion. There is no impact to the race which is ongoing,” an organsing committee spokesman was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
The official added that the item was a small bag and that the police bomb squad’s action was a precaution.
“A back pack, which likely belonged to a homeless man, was blown up, in accordance with protocol,” the official said.
Also on Saturday, a New Zealand team official narrowly escaped a stray bullet fired at the Olympic equestrian centre.
The bullet landed on the floor of the press room after tearing through a canvas roof in Deodoro, the second largest Rio 2016 venue cluster, officials said, reports Xinhua.
New Zealand communications manager Ashley Abbott said the team’s equestrian athletes were being contacted to inform them of the incident.
Press reports said New Zealand press attache Diana Dobson was left “visibly shaken”, but physically unharmed.
The Rio equestrian centre is located next to a military base.
Officials said an investigation had been launched into the incident.
On Friday, a man was gunned down outside the Maracana Stadium just hours after an 80,000-strong crowd attended the glittering Olympics opening ceremony.
Images showed the unnamed man lying next to his bike in the street after being gunned down late Friday night.
Police surrounded the body of the man found with bullet wounds after 9 p.m. local time.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the man has not yet been identified but local news outlets reported the Brazilian had committed robberies in the area and was killed when one of his victims reacted.
The killing so close to the Olympic venue is likely to raise concerns about safety during the two-week event in which nearly 11,000 athletes are to compete.