France to protect its athletes in Sochi
Security at the Winter Games is expected to be tight with threats of attacks on Sochi.
PARIS - French athletes at the Winter Olympics will be protected by French national police and gendarmerie special operations units in Sochi, the country's sports minister said on Thursday.
Security at the Winter Games is expected to be tight with the potential threat of an attack on Sochi, which lies on the western edge of the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, scene of an insurgency aiming to create an Islamist state.
Russian president Vladimir Putin has put about 37,000 personnel on combat alert but France will still have tailor-made security in Sochi.
"We have done some preparatory work with our experts and everything has been done to make sure our athletes and fans are safe," sports minister Valerie Fourneyron told daily_ Le Parisien_.
"There will be maximal vigilance."
France is sending 116 athletes to the games.