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Russia: Gunmen Attack Tourists En Route to North Caucasus Ski Resort

By Larry Habegger | Permalink | No Comments | February 23rd, 2011 | Trackback

Gunmen in camouflage attacked a minivan of tourists en route to a popular ski resort near Mount Elbrus in the North Caucasus region Feb. 19, killing three and wounding two. Mount Elbrus is Europe’s highest mountain, and the resort where the incident took place, Baksan in the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, lies about 150 miles east of Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics will be held. The Russian government plans to invest $15 billion in the North Caucasus region to build five major ski resorts to alleviate poverty and unemployment. Some officials speculated that the attack was meant to derail these development plans by frightening away foreign investors. Meanwhile, Russia has stopped receiving tourists in Kabardino-Balkaria. The Caucasus region has been the site of ongoing Islamist insurgency and general criminal activity.

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