By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent BosNewsLife
MOSCOW/BUDAPEST (BosNewsLife)--The recent attack which left at least five people dead in Stavropol, in southern Russia, has heightened security fears ahead of the Olympic Winter Games due to take place in the Black Sea resort of Sochi next month.
The United States, which will send 250 athletes to compete in the games, says the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will have dozens of people in Moscow and some in Sochi to assist the Russians.
"Securing any Olympics is an enormous task," acknowledged FBI Director James B. Comey. "I think it’s particularly challenging in Sochi because of its proximity to areas of unrest and sources of a terrorist threat," he added.
Investigators working on the attack in Stavropol say all the victims, including at least two taxi drivers, were shot dead and found in four separate cars.
THOUSANDS OF VISITORS
The killings happened just 300 kilometers east of the Black Sea resort of Sochi, where thousands of athletes and spectators are due to attend the Winter Olympics in February.
The violence came despite a massive security operation in the region, involving nearly 40,000 troops and police.
Meanwhile, footage has emerged of what officials said was last week's confrontation between Russian security forces and three militants hiding in a house in the Khasavyurt region of Dagestan.
In the fighting, Russian law enforcers reportedly killed a close aid of Doku Umarov, who had urged his fighters to disrupt the Olympic Games.
YOUNG MAN ATTACKED
The man has been identified as 23-year-old Islam Atiev, linked to attacks against police.
Militants have been fighting for a separate Islamic state in Russia's North Caucasus region, and Russian President Vladimir Putin is under pressure to take tougher action.
Several Russian politicians have called for the re-installment of the death penalty as part of anti-terrorist measures, raising concerns among human rights groups.
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