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Foreign leaders confirm presence at Olympic opening ceremony

Sun, Jul 24, 2016, 03:56 PM
Rio de Janeiro, July 24: French President Francois Hollande is among 45 foreign leaders to have confirmed their presence at the Olympic Games opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian government has said.

Others to commit to the August 5 event include Mauricio Macri (Argentina), Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia), Horacio Cartes (Paraguay) and Matteo Renzi (Italy), officials said on Saturday, reports Xinhua.

The leaders will meet at the Itamaraty palace in the center of Rio before traveling in a motorcade to the Maracana stadium in the city's north, according to foreign relations minister Jose Serra.

"It will be the largest [security] mobilization in our history," Serra said. "All of our security forces have been mobilized: the local police, the federal police and the armed forces."

Brazil will deploy 88,000 soldiers and police during the August 5-21 Games, more than double the number used at the London 2012 Olympics.

According to the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, there will be a special security plan in place for Hollande during the opening ceremony.

France has been the target of three major terror atrocities in the past 18 months, including an attack in Nice this month when 84 people were mown down by a truck while celebrating Bastille Day fireworks.

Intelligence agencies from more than 100 countries are working in tandem with Brazil's federal police and armed forces to combat terror plots in Rio, according to the government.
Agency: IANS

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