RIO DE JANEIRO: The biggest, most alarming scare yet of terrorism ahead of the Rio Olympics that starts Friday kept a battalion of 600 Army soldiers on tenterhooks for an hour at the Athletes Village here Wednesday night.
A big bag mysteriously left unattended in a dark nook at the Village’s Welcome Center raised an immediate bomb alert, preventing hundreds of frazzled athletes and their coaches, including some members of the Philippine team, from returning to the heavily secured compound.
Soldiers cordoned off the village and a bomb-sniffing robot was deployed by the elite Policia Militar to the scene after the center was evacuated.
The all-clear was sounded a good one hour later after it was determined that the contents of the bag were personal items.
Only then were the athletes allowed in to eat their late dinner at the village mess hall.
In an Olympics already ravaged by the threat of the Zika virus even before it opened, the terrorist angle keeps the massive security rollout–an estimated 20,000 soldiers guard every neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro–on a high state of readiness. – Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network