Five Bodies, Bomb Found in Southern Russia Ahead of Sochi Games

Bodies with gunshot wounds and an undetonated bomb were discovered in cars

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In this photo from a public camera, made available by the Associated Press Television News, smoke pours out after an explosion at Volgograd railway station on Dec. 29.

Five bodies and an unidentified explosive device were discovered in southern Russia, Reuters reports, putting security forces on further alert as the region prepares for next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.

A spokesman for Russia’s Federal Security Service in Stavropol said the bodies and undetonated bomb were found in two districts outside the regional capital, a gateway to the North Caucasus where Islamist insurgents have threatened to derail the nearby Games that open on Feb 7. The corpses, found among four cars, suffered gunshot wounds.

The discovery comes after two bombs in as many days hit a major rail station and bus in Volgograd late December, killing at least 31. After those attacks, President Vladimir Putin said he would eliminate all “terrorists” in Russia. Security officials say about 37,000 personnel are already in place to safeguard Sochi during the competition.

MORE: Fortress Sochi: Russia’s Security Plan Risks Killing the Olympic Spirit