An anti-terrorism sweep is underway near the Sochi area of Russia following reports that security officials have found at least six dead bodies, some with explosives.
At least one of the bombs, accompanying a body in a car, detonated in the Stavropol territory as police approached the vehicle, according to RIA Novosti, the Russian state-sponsored news agency. Two bodies were discovered in vehicles in the same region on Wednesday, followed by three more in a vehicle with explosive material on Thursday.
As a result, counterterrorism forces have launched a widespread sweep and investigation in the region bordering Sochi, which will host the 2014 Olympic Games in less than a month.
The sweep also comes less than two weeks after twin bombs detonated , one at a Russian train station on Dec. 29 and another on a crowded commuter bus on Dec. 30. No group has claimed credit for the attacks, which killed 34, and the Russian government has not released any leads. The bombings may be the work of Chechnya-based Islamic extremist groups, which proclaimed months prior they would conduct such attacks.
RIA Novosti reports three suspects have been linked to the spate of killings this week: Anzor Margushev, Vadim Shogenov and Artur Margushev, all believed to be in their mid-20s to early 30s and from the Kabardino-Balkaria region of the Russian North Caucasus.
The victims include taxi drivers, the BBC reports.