Tight security won't spoil Doha Games - organisers
ASIAN GAMES: Security at the biggest sporting event ever held in the
troubled Middle East will not unduly affect Asian Games athletes and
spectators, organisers said on Thursday.
"This is a competition and we have to secure the Games but we have to
let everyone enjoy the competition too," Doha Asian Games Organising
Committee (DAGOC) spokesman Ahmed Abdulla Al Khulaifi said.
Qatar, a key U.S. ally, has deployed 8,000 personnel from five
government ministries in Doha to ensure there is no threat to athletes
ansd spectators during the Dec. 1-15 Games, a security official said.
Supporters of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden have staged attacks in
neighbouring Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, but Qatar prides itself on its
security, despite two car bombings in the last two years which shocked
the oil-rich state.
In March last 2005, a Briton was killed and 12 others wounded when a
car loaded with explosives rammed into a building housing a theatre
popular with westerners.
That followed another car bombing 13 months earlier, which killed
exiled Chechen rebel leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev and two others as they
returned from a Mosque.
Al Khulaifi said the Qatari government had formed a special security
task force exclusively for the Games, which would work alongside
existing state agencies.
Friday's opening ceremony at the Khalifa stdaium in Doha will be
attended 10,000 athletes and officials with 40,000 spectators.
DOHA, Thursday, Reuters