Car bomb kills three in southern Russia

MOSCOW Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:43pm EST

Related Topics

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A car bomb killed three people in the southern Russian city of Pyatigorsk on Friday, officials said, in a worrying development for the Kremlin as Russia prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in six weeks' time.

Pyatigorsk lies 270 km (170 miles) east of Sochi, where the Games, a major prestige project for President Vladimir Putin, will open on February 7.

The blast blew out the windows of buildings in an industrial neighborhood of the spa resort town, officials said. Thee people were killed, Pyatigorsk mayor Lev Travnev said on state-run Rossiya-24 television.

The explosion badly damaged a traffic police building, Interfax news agency reported, but state-run Itar-Tass cited police as saying all three people killed were bystanders, not police.

Pyatigorsk is just north of a strip of mostly Muslim provinces plagued by near-daily violence in a long-running Islamist insurgency. Its leader, Chechen warlord Doku Umarov, urged militants in a video posted online in July to use "maximum force" to prevent Putin staging the Olympics.

Militants say they want to carve out a Muslim state in the North Caucasus. Their insurgency is rooted in two post-Soviet separatist wars in Chechnya, one of the region's provinces.

Putin has staked his reputation on a safe and successful Games and ordered law enforcement agencies to improve security in the region.

Nobody immediately was blamed or claimed responsibility for the bombing in Pyatigorsk. Militants based in the North Caucasus have carried out some of their deadliest attacks beyond its borders, in the Russian heartland.

Suicide bombers killed 40 people in the Moscow subway in 2010 and 37 at the Russian capital's busiest airport in 2011. A suicide bomber killed six people in October on a bus in the southern city of Volgograd.

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (7)
AlkalineState wrote:
You’d have to be NUTS to go to those Olympics in Russia. Jihadists roaming the streets. Every week a Boston bombing and half the police are in on it. Russia is losing control of its territories. They can’t catch any terrorists, so they crack down on gay people.

Dec 27, 2013 12:36pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Dron wrote:
The Russian security services are catching terrorists all the time and often eliminating them. To put down an insurgency can take 20 years. If Saudi Arabia stopped funding Islamic extremism then these things would stop much sooner.

Dec 27, 2013 10:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
teb wrote:
gay man dressed like a women

Dec 29, 2013 6:07pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Pictures