by Mary Chastain 9 Jan 2014
Russian security is on combat alert after the discovery of four cars, three rigged with bombs, and six dead bodies in the Stavropol region of Russia Thursday. The area is between Volgograd, the site of three bombings in the past three months, and Sochi, the location of the 2014 Winter Olympics in six weeks.
One bomb exploded, but no one was injured.
The corpses were discovered on Wednesday in two separate districts outside the regional capital Stavropol, a gateway to the North Caucasus, where Russia faces an insurgency by Islamist militants who have threatened to try to prevent the Olympics going ahead.
Vladimir Markin, spokesman for Russia's main investigative agency, said in a statement issued on Thursday that Federal Security Service officers had joined the investigation. He said no motive had yet been determined.
A woman detonated a bomb in Volgograd in October, killing six people and injuring over 30. In December, a suicide bomber attacked a train station in the city, and immediately the next day, another bomb went off in a bus. Twenty-nine people died. The city is significant to Russia because it used to be Stalingrad, the site of a battle in World War II in which the Russians defeated the German army.
The attacks caused President Vladimir Putin to increase security for the Winter Olympics. The United States offered Russia more security during the games through the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Many Americans will be participating in the Olympics.
Sochi is located near the Caucus region, which is where many radical Islamist terrorist attacks have taken place after two separate wars in Chechnya. Chechen rebel Doku Umarov called for more attacks in Russia and said the Olympic games will be a prime target.
The Telegraph reports: