July 12, 2018 / 11:13 AM / 9 months ago

Chief organiser promises tight security for Asian Games

People take pictures of a sign for the upcoming 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 2, 2018. Picture taken July 2, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia will provide tight security for nearly 17000 athletes and officials who will take part in next month’s multi-sport event, the chief organiser said on Thursday.

The Indonesian businessman said the Aug. 18 - Sept. 2 Games, featuring athletes and officials from 45 countries, will witness a 20 percent increase in participation compared to the Incheon Games four years ago.

Security concerns for the event increased after suicide bombings claimed by Islamic State killed more than 30 people in the country’s second-biggest city of Surabaya in May.

Thohir said 100,000 police and army force personnel would guard the Games and the authorities would be using facial recognition technology at some of the locations.

“We’re also making sure countries who do not have good relations with each other are not staying at the same hotel,” Thohir, chairman of Italian soccer club Inter Milan, said.

North and South Korea will field joint teams in six events across three sports at this year’s Asian Games.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un had both been invited to attend, Thohir said.

Reporting by Fanny Potkin; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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