Olympic Games attack would be 'sacrilege'

Last updated at 17:23 05 April 2004

An international terrorist attack on the Olympic Games in Athens would be a sacrilege, a senior Nato general said in an interview with a Greek newspaper published on Monday.

German General Harald Kujat, chairman of NATO's military committee, also said the alliance's decision to help NATO-member Greece protect the August 13-29 Games should send a message to possible attackers that the host country was not alone.

Kujat told the Kathimerinin newspaper he had no information that Athens would be a target, but added: "I could say that to target the Olympic Games would be a sacrilege because this is really an historical place and this is the idea of the Olympic Games. I hope nobody would want to do that."

Greece and NATO are working out details of what role the alliance will play in helping Greece, mainly with air and sea patrols. Kujat said he did not believe NATO soldiers would be needed on the ground.

"I personally think the Greek armed forces are an excellent force so I don't think you need boots on the ground because you have the forces in place," he said.

Asked if NATO's help would ensure a safer Games, Kujat replied: "It is a clear indication of so and I hope it is some kind of deterrent as well."

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