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Russian Police Kill Suspected Mastermind of Volgograd Bombings

<p>The two suicide bombings in December raised terrorism fears ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.</p>

SOCHI, Russia — Russian police said Wednesday that they had killed a suspected mastermind of two suicide bombings in December that left 34 people dead and raised terrorism fears ahead of the Sochi Olympics.

The militant, identified as Mirzayev, was killed in a shootout with special operations forces in the Russian republic of Dagestan, according to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

The two bombings, in the city of Volgograd, targeted a rail station and a bus. Since the blasts, militants in the volatile Caucasus region, which includes Dagestan, have vowed to attack the Olympics themselves.

Russian special forces have been carrying out operations in the Caucasus ahead of the games, targeting suspected militants.

Last week, Russian police identified the two Volgograd bombers. They also detained two men who were believed to have taken the bombers to the city.