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  Police Tighten Security in Advance of Olympics

Associated Press
Tuesday, January 27, 1998; 10:37 p.m. EST

NAGANO, Japan — Hundreds of police officers were mobilized to tighten security today around Winter Olympic venues and major train and bus stations in Nagano.

Police conducted searches of the areas around most venues in Nagano and other nearby villages which are to play host to the Feb. 7-22 games.

They also tightened security around Nagano's main train station and kept a high profile along major thoroughfares.

More than 2,400 athletes from 72 countries are expected to converge on Nagano for the games, which will likely be the largest Winter Olympics ever held.

No security breaches have been reported, but police are being particularly cautious ahead of the games because members of the imperial family and other VIPs are scheduled to attend its opening ceremony.

Matsumoto, a city near Nagano, was the site of a nerve gas attack blamed on the Aum Shinri Kyo cult that killed seven people in 1994.

The cult, which was also involved in a nerve gas attack on Tokyo's subways that killed 12 people the following year, is not believed to be a threat to the games. Most of its leaders are in jail or in custody pending trial.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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