A little under a month before the Sochi Winter Olympics begin, Russia has put its security officials on combat alert while police are hunting suspected Islamist militants after five people were found shot dead in cars, the the southern region of Stavropol.
Two of the four vehicles in which the victims were found were booby-trapped. When police approached them, one mechanism exploded and another was deactivated by the police.
Russian police sources have named three suspects, two of which are allegedly Islamic militants, from the region of Kabardino Balkaria, also wanted for a murder committed in October 2013.
The BBC says that local media in Russia are reporting that, in a separate incident, a woman was arrested on a bus in Stavropol in possession of a suicide bomb belt.
At the end of December, suicide bombers killed 34 people in two separate attack in Volvograd.
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