Brazil 'prepared' for Olympic security threat, says minister

Updated: 2016-07-20 09:07


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Brazil 'prepared' for Olympic security threat, says minister

Brazilian Army soldiers patrol in front of the Olympic stadium ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 19, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Brazilian government has moved to reassure local residents and an estimated 500,000 visitors that the country will be safe during next month's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Security fears escalated last week after 84 people were killed, including scores of children, when a truck ploughed through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice.

"The population can rest assured that everything possible related to intelligence, monitoring and tracing is being done in Brazil," justice minister Alexandre de Moraes told reporters. "The government, the federal police and [federal intelligence agency] Abin are all prepared."

Brazil's institutional security minister, Sergio Etchegoyen, had said after the Nice attack that security would be raised to "another level" for the August 5-21 Games.

But Moraes denied any ramp up of security by local or international authorities.

"Obviously recent terrorist attacks make us more alert, but there hasn't been any change to the level [of security] in Brazil," Moraes said. "The possibility [of an attack] always exists all over the world. For that reason we work 24 hours a day to monitor, analyze and exchange information."

Moraes said agents from more than 100 countries would work in tandem with Brazil's federal police and armed forces during the Games period.

Brazil is also understood to be planning a special security arrangement at the opening ceremony for French President Francois Hollande.

South America's largest country will deploy 88,000 soldiers and police during the Olympics, more than double the number used at the London 2012 Games.