With the 2014 Winter Olympic Games less than a month away, Russian authorities are investigating another potential act of terrorism near Sochi.
Russian security forces are conducting an anti-terror sweep after the bodies of six men along with an exploded vehicle were found in the country's Stavropol territory — about 150 miles away from where the Olympic Games will be held in Sochi. (Via CNN)
According to investigators, four cars had been rigged with explosives, but only one of those went off. All six of the victims had apparently been shot and then placed in the abandoned vehicles prior to the explosion. (Via Al Jazeera)
The discovery adds new concerns about violence ahead of the games as the incident occurred in an area where an Islamic insurgency is reported to be emerging.
Late last month, 34 people were killed and dozens more injured after two suicide bombs went off in Volgograd, which is just north of Sochi. (Via RT) No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but according to The Washington Post, "The threat of violence at the Games has been a persistent concern of security officials. Russia has been engaged in a longtime struggle with extremists, many of whom have vowed to target the Olympics."
The New York Times reports Sochi has been mostly blocked off ahead of the games.
Russian officials have closed Sochi's " ... roads to vehicles from other parts of the country and [mobilized] tens of thousands of government troops to ensure [the] safety for visiting athletes and tourists."
The Russian government has said it is not planning to further increase security presence at the games as a result of the latest attacks. However, U.S. FBI agents are now working with Russian intelligence in Sochi to help ensure athlete and spectator safety.