Winter Olympics: Russia arrests five 'terror suspects' month before start of Sochi Games

 

Five terror suspects have been detained in one of Russia's North Caucasus provinces as the country's security agencies were scrambling to uproot any potential threat to the Sochi Games.

The raid in the city of Nalchik, located about 185 miles (300km) east of Sochi, comes less than a month before the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee said the suspects belonged to an international terror group and were in possession of grenades, ammunition and a self-made explosive device. The agency didn't name the group the suspects allegedly belonged to or give further details.

The arrests follow back-to-back suicide bombings in the city of Volgograd in southern Russia, which killed 34 and wounded 100 others, on December 29-30.

No one has claimed responsibility for the Volgograd attacks, but Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov, who leads Islamic insurgents in the North Caucasus, urged his men to attack civilian targets in Russia and specifically target the Sochi Olympics.

Security fears were further heightened on Thursday when police found four cars with the bullet-riddled bodies of six men near the city of Pyatigorsk, about 170 miles (275km) north east of Sochi across the North Caucasus Mountains.

Explosive devices had been placed near three of the cars, although only one of the bombs went off and no one was hurt.

Security forces in the region were scrambling to track down those responsible for those killings.

Russia has deployed tens of thousands of police, troops, security agents and rescue workers to protect the games, which run February 7-23.

On Tuesday, authorities enacted a stringent security regime in Sochi barring entrance to all vehicles except for those registered in the city or with special Olympics passes.

President Vladimir Putin has personally overseen preparations for the Olympics, his pet project intended to showcase Russia's power and wealth. Last week, he inspected preparations for the games and went skiing in the mountains near Sochi.

AP

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Developer - HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, VBA, SQL

£30000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: We are working with one o...

Male Behaviour Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

BA/PM,EMIR/Dodd-Frank,London,£450-650P/D

£450 - £650 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

SEN Learning Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz