Brazil military conducts exercises in Rio ahead of Olympics

Rio de Janeiro:Brazil's armed forces have carried out a series of military exercises in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the start of the Olympic Games, which open on August 5. The preparatory exercises for the Olympics, which will be held in Rio through August 21, were organised on Saturday by the Area Defence General Coordinator, CGDA, which will provide support to the police, reports Efe. The troops conducted a reconnaissance of the security area and of the routes of armoured patrols on the Brasil and Ayrton Senna thoroughfares and the Via Transolimpica, a rapid-access highway leading to the sporting installations that entered into service on Saturday. Marines conducted a simulation at Plaza Maua, located in the city's port district. Navy, air force and army personnel assigned to the CGDA's command posts in the city -- including the Deodoro Sporting Complex, the Vila Militar and Magalhaes Bastos train stations and Barra da Tijuca, the district where most of the Olympic and Paralympic venues are located -- took part in the military exercises. They were conducted just two days after the Brazilian government said international terrorism was waging a "psychological war" ahead of the Olympics. "There are efforts to recruit people via the Internet" as well as psychological war activities that are being monitored by authorities, Institutional Security Minister Sergio Etchegoyen told reporters in Brasilia on Thursday. While officials have identified no specific threat, terrorism is always a "possibility" in the case of an event such as the Olympics, he said. The psychological warfare includes threatening messages on social media from different parts of the world that may have originated with groups connected to Islamic State, the minister said. One of the peak security situations during the Olympics will be the August 5 inaugural ceremony, which is expected to attract dozens of heads of state and government.