Olympic security

Security personnel walk in the Olympic Park in Adler, Russia, one of the cities near Sochi that is helping to play host to the 2014 Winter Olympics. (Michael Heiman / Getty Images / January 9, 2014)

The U.S. State Dept. has issued a travel alert warning that Americans attending the 2014 Sochi Olympics should "remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times."

With a violent insurgency continuing in the nearby North Caucasus, it is no surprise that terrorism ranks among the primary concerns.

"Russian authorities have indicated that they are taking appropriate security measures in Sochi in light of this," the travel alert stated on Friday. "Acts of terrorism, including bombings and hostage takings, continue to occur in Russia."

Two recent bombings in Volgograd, about 400 miles away, have raised concerns. Tens of thousands of Russian police and troops arrived in Sochi this week to help safeguard the Winter Games.

U.S. officials suggested that American travelers beware of crime and take care if seeking medical attention. 

"The Olympics are the first large-scale event to be held in Sochi and medical capacity and infrastructure in the region are untested for handling the volume of visitors expected for the Olympics," the alert said.

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