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Report: US warns airlines of toothpaste threat before Sochi

Washington - The US government has warned US and some foreign airlines connecting to Russia during the Olympics to watch out for toothpaste tubes that could conceal materials to build a bomb aboard an airplane, broadcaster ABC reported Wednesday.

The Homeland Security Department declined to confirm specific warnings, saying only in an email to dpa that it "regularly shares relevant information" with airlines, including those involved in international events like the Winter Olympics, which open Friday in Sochi, Russia.

The ABC report cited an unidentified senior US official as the source o fthe toothpaste warning.

Congressman Peter King, a member of the Homeland Security committee in the House of Representatives, told broadcaster CNN that the panel was briefed about the threat. He brushed off questions about details except to call it the "type of threat we should really be concerned about."

King said he was convinced that security was tight within the Olympics grounds in Sochi, but "getting there and the surrounding areas, I would say, there is real cause for concern."

"I don’t think it’s worth the risk of going," King said.

Secretary of State John Kerry told CNN that the US has 140 personnel -including FBI, military and embassy staff - "working under one roof with the Russians."

He urged common-sense precautions.

"Anybody who wants to go, should go," Kerry said. "It will be as safe as you can make any public event in a place where we know there have been some threats of late."

DPA


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