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Islamist leader to militants: 'Do everything possible' to prevent Sochi 2014 Olympics

Islamist rebel leader Doku Umarov, center, described the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics as "demonic dances on the bones of our ancestors."AFP - Getty Images

MOSCOW -- The leader of an Islamist insurgency has called on militants to "do everything possible" to prevent the upcoming Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi.

Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov also accused Russian authorities of showing little respect for Muslim traditions.

In his first public appearance since November, Umarov called for "maximum efforts, on the path of Allah, to do everything possible to disrupt these demonic dances on the bones of our ancestors." 

The video of his address appeared on the Kavkaz Center website.

Umarov has previously claimed responsibility for the Domodedovo airport bombing in Moscow in 2011, which left 36 people dead.

Sochi, a Black Sea resort city with one of the warmest climates in Russia, will be hosting the Olympics in February.

However, violence in neighboring Chechnya and Dagestan threatens to spill over into the city.

Dagestan, which lies about 300 miles east of Sochi, has become the center of the insurgency that spread across the North Caucasus region after two separatist wars in the 1990s in neighboring Chechnya. Rebels seeking to carve out an Islamic state have targeted police and other officials in near-daily shootings and bombings.

In a statement sent to the Associated Press, the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee said officials were “confident that the Games will be safe and comfortable for all as guaranteed by the Russian state.”

Sochi 2014 will be the most expensive Olympic Games to date. Its overall bill stands at around $50 billion.

The Olympic Games are also seen as an important personal project for Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has a holiday home in the region.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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