Olympic security ‘Odyssey’

Police, military and civil defense forces completed a three-day exercise yesterday that tested their ability to deal with terrorist attacks during the Olympics – including those involving biological, chemical or nuclear weapons. Officials were not available to comment on the outcome of the exercise code-named «Blue Odyssey.» Media coverage of the drill was banned. It was the sixth security drill to deal with scenarios involving mass casualties during the Aug. 13-29 Olympics. The exercise was to include mock hostage scenarios at sea. More than 1,000 police, coast guard and fire department officers took part in the exercises at Piraeus and in the rocky coastal area of Palaia Fokaia, about 50 km (30 miles) southeast of Athens. Representatives of a seven-nation advisory group, which includes the United States, Britain and Israel, observed the maneuvers. Russian, Japanese and Dutch officials also attended as observers. Greece has budgeted a record sum of more than $750 million to safeguard the Games. Authorities plan to deploy more than 50,000 security personnel, including 16,000 soldiers. (AP)