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Published: Saturday January 11, 2014 MYT 1:20:01 AM
Updated: Saturday January 11, 2014 MYT 1:21:25 AM

Russia detains six over deadly December bombing in southern city

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's federal Anti-Terrorist Committee said on Friday it had detained six men suspected in a bombing in the southern city of Pyatigorsk last month that killed three people and added to security fears in the run-up to the Winter Olympics.

Russia is on security alert only weeks before it opens the 2014 Winter Games on February 7 in the southern Black Sea resort of Sochi, some 270 km (170 miles) west of Pyatigorsk where the car bomb went off.

The blast on December 27 blew out the windows of buildings in an industrial neighbourhood of the spa resort town and badly damaged a traffic police building.

The committee said the six men, who include one Azerbaijani citizen, have admitted to carrying out the bombing and that they were planning another attack on a larger scale.

It also said it opened criminal cases against the suspects for murder and terrorism, among others.

Pyatigorsk lies in the Stavropol region next to the Krasnodar area, which includes Sochi, and is just north of the volatile North Caucasus plagued by near-daily violence in a long-running Islamist insurgency.

Fresh security concerns arose ahead of the Sochi Games, a top priority project for Moscow, after two bomb attacks killed at least 34 people in late December in the city of Volgograd, some 700 km (400 miles) northeast of Sochi.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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