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More Troops Than Afghanistan At London 2012 Games

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Up to 13,500 troops will be deployed to protect the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, more than in Afghanistan, as organizers said international uncertainty meant security for the Games needed to be doubled.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said the military support would provide back-up for police and private staff already hired to secure the perimeters of the venues, and will also include special forces and specialist bomb disposal units, as well as a 1,000 contingency force "in the event of an Olympics-related civil emergency".

The Olympic Park in Stratford, east London, will be protected by missiles against an airborne attack, similar to measures taken at the Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004 Games.

Hammond said in a statement, "next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games are once-in-a-generation events for the U.K.. We want them to be secure so that all those competing and attending can enjoy the Games for the celebration of sporting achievement and cultural celebration that it is".

Of the 13,500 military personnel, about 7,500 will help at venues admitting spectators, athletes and officials through airline-style security. They will be combined with guards from the private security firm G4S and volunteers, for a force of 23,700, up from an original estimated 10,000.

Also the largest ship in the Royal Navy, HMS Ocean, will be moored in the River Thames at Greenwich, providing a base for military helicopters, and the navy's flagship HMS Bulwark, will be deployed off the south coast.

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