Russian security forces are undertaking an anti-terror sweep after discovering bodies and explosives at at least three sites in Stavropol Territory, a southern province near Sochi, the site of February's 2014 Winter Olympics.
The Ministry of Interior and the Investigative Committee spokesman offered some information about the grim series of events. On Wednesday, two bodies were found in vehicles in Stavropol Territory. That same day, a car with an unidentified body inside exploded as police approached. On Thursday, authorities discovered a car in the same area containing the bodies of three men and explosive material.
LifeNews, a Russian tabloid associated with Russia's security services, identified three suspects in the killings, all of whom are from the Russian North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.
Security in and around Sochi had been increased as part of a Russian government effort to ensure safety for the games, with Emergency Services Minister Vladimir Puchkov announcing Russian security forces would be on "combat alert" beginning January 7.
Russian authorities have been on guard following two suicide bombings in the Russian city of Volgograd, 400 miles from Sochi, in late December 2013 that killed at least 34 people.