Shootout with militants in Russia kills seven before Olympics

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from Reuters,

Three members of the Russian security forces and four gunmen were killed in a shootout on Wednesday during a sweep for Islamist militants who have threatened to attack the Winter Olympics that begin in Sochi next month.

After two suicide bombings in southern Russia last month, Moscow is on high security alert. President Vladimir Putin has staked much personal and political prestige on the success of the Games, and put security forces on combat footing in Sochi.

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee (NAC) said the dead militants included a man accused of carrying out a car bomb attack in the city of Pyatigorsk late last year which killed three people.

The shootout occurred on the same day that Russia’s Duma, or lower house of parliament, introduced legislation aimed at broadening the powers of security services and boosting their oversight of the Internet, Russian news agencies said.

Voting has yet to be held on the bill,

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