Russian authorities on alert after bodies, explosives found near Sochi

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Russian authorities are on high alert after six bodies and three explosive devices were found in and around abandoned cars near the site of next month’s Winter Olympics.

Security forces have been deployed in a counterterror operation 186 miles east of Sochi in the Stavropol region, where the bodies and explosives were found Wednesday, according to the BBC.


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Two of the three men being sought by police are suspected members of an Islamist militant group and are on a Russian federal wanted list for the murder of a hunter, the BBC reported, citing local media.

Investigators say the six victims appeared to have been shot to death and placed in four cars on the outskirts of the city of Pyatigorsk.

Three of the cars were rigged with explosives, but only one device went off when police went to inspect them, The Guardian reports. No one was injured.

Vladimir Markin, the spokesman for Russia's main investigative agency, said in a statement that no motive had yet been found for the killings. He said one explosive device was placed in a metal bucket next to a car.

Markin said Federal Security Service officers had joined the investigation, which was classified as a counterterrorism operation.

Three men whose bodies were in three of the cars have been identified: Two were taxi drivers and the third assembled furniture for a private businessman, Russian state news agencies reported, citing law enforcement agencies. Their names have not been released. The men were said to be local residents and drove inexpensive Soviet-model Lada cars.

The grisly discoveries came a day after Russia launched strict security measures in Sochi.

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