Russia Places Regions Near Sochi On Alert As Six Bodies Found Dead In Cars
Russia "began a counter-terrorism operation in a southern province that borders the Krasnodar region," where the Sochi Olympics will be held next month, "after six bodies were found in abandoned cars," according to Stepan Kravchenko of BLOOMBERG. The local government said in a website statement that the security swoop started Thursday at midnight in two districts of the Stavropol region and will include "special measures and temporary restrictions." Six bodies "riddled with bullets were found" Wednesday in parked cars. An explosive device planted near one of the vehicles "blew up without causing any injuries as police examined the scene" (BLOOMBERG, 1/9). The AFP reported as police "examined one of the cars in Stavropol, which contained the body of a local resident who had been shot in the head," an improvised explosive device "went off about 20m away, causing no injuries." Officers "then defused another device nearby" (AFP, 1/10). The London GUARDIAN reported the bodies "were found" in four abandoned cars. Three of the cars "had been rigged with explosive devices." NTV reported from the scene that security "had been heightened on the nearby border with Kabardino-Balkaria, one of several predominantly Muslim republics in Russia's Caucasus" (GUARDIAN, 1/9).