Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) says its units have foiled "terrorists" who were planning to carry out an attack near the southwest city Saratov, killing an undisclosed number of “criminals.”
"Following an investigation and searches in the region of Saratov, the FSB foiled a planned terrorist attack by members of a secret terrorist cell," the FSB said on March 11.
"The criminals, driving a car, opened fire on security personnel, and in the armed clash they were fatally wounded," the FSB said.
The statement did not specify the number of casualties, but a video released by the FSB apparently showed the bodies of two men near a car with its windows broken out.
The FSB said its officers recovered pistols, homemade grenades, and an explosive device with three kilos of TNT in Saratov, about 800 kilometers from Moscow.
The reported incident comes one week before Russia’s March 18 presidential election, in which Vladimir Putin is expected to easily win reelection.
It is also some three months before the start of the World Cup soccer championship. No matches are scheduled for Saratov, although other cities in the region will host games.