The three car bombs defused in the Elbrus area in Russia's North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria had the combined strength of 70 kg of TNT, a spokesman for the republican law-enforcement agencies said on Sunday.
"The law-enforcement bodies of Kabardino-Balkaria have prevented a large-scale terrorist act in the Elbrus area. The police found a suspicious VAZ-2110 silver car without state plate numbers close to the Novy Povorot hotel near Mount Elbrus on Saturday," the spokesman said.
During the car inspection, three homemade bombs with a total strength of at least 70 kg of TNT equivalent were found, the spokesman said.
"If the bombs had been detonated, according to specialists' estimates, it would have been impossible to avoid a considerable number of victims and considerable destruction," the spokesman said.
Russia has imposed a counter-terrorism regime in two areas of Kabardino-Balkaria after an attack on tourists that killed three and injured two people and bomb attempts in the republic, the republican operational headquarters said on Sunday.
"The headquarters ... has decided to impose a counter-terrorism regime from 10:00 a.m. Moscow time on Sunday in the Elbrus area and part of the Baksan district to prevent subversive and terrorist acts that may cause the death of people ... and to look for members of illegal armed formations complicit in carrying out terrorist attacks in the republic," the headquarters said.
On Friday, unknown assailants opened fire on a van carrying tourists from Moscow who headed for the Elbrus mountain area, the famous ski resort in Kabardino-Balkaria. Three people, including a woman, were killed and two others were injured.
Also late on Friday, a cableway on Mount Elbrus was hit by an explosion, but no one was injured, local police said. The blast occurred between the Stary Krugozor and Mir stations. Some 30 out of 45 cable cars were damaged.
NALCHIK, February 20 (RIA Novosti)