Major terror attack averted in central Russia

A police bomb squad has defused two bombs in central Russia, preventing a deadly blast that could have injured dozens of people.

The first bomb was found in a car parked near a café in the city of Stavropol. A dead man identified as a local resident was sitting inside. He was severely beaten before being killed with a shot to the head.

Police used a robot with a mounted water cannon to destroy the explosive device, the estimated yield of which was about 30 kilograms of TNT.

More than 3,000 people were evacuated from the area.

Another bomb (containing another 30 kilograms of TNT) was discovered nearby and subsequently defused by the police as they were securing the area. The investigators suppose that the second bomb, set for 8.30 a.m., was expected to trigger the first one.

According to preliminary data, the terrorists’ plans failed due to heavy rain in the area that prevented the first bomb from exploding.

This latest incident comes four months after a terror attack in Stavropol claimed the lives of eight people and left another 40 wounded.

The Kommersant newspaper cited a source in the Federal Security Service as saying that the same people may have been behind the blast in a nearby town in August which injured 30 people.

Investigators say the criminals used similar materials to make the explosive devices. Furthermore, their plan was almost the same: the bomb was hidden in a car parked in the town center and its driver was shot through the head.

Meanwhile, an anti-terror operation has been carried out today in the nearby republic of Dagestan.

One militant was killed after special police forces trapped him in a house in the republic's capital, Makhachkala. He was identified as a member of a local terrorist group responsible for several attacks targeting police.