Baskan, Russia – Terrorists blew up a ski lift in the Caucasus ski resort of Baskan near Mt. Elbrus Friday evening a few hours after attacking a nearby minibus full of tourists, killing three Russian skiers and wounding three others.
Officials confirmed that one of the lift towers were damaged, but no one was hurt in the ski area attack.
Hours earlier, camouflage-clad gunmen ambushed a van transporting tourists from the airport to the ski area, forcing it to the side of the road near the village of Zayukovo. After questioning the passengers they opened fire, killing two on the spot and sending four to the hospital, where one later died. All of the victims were from the Moscow area.
The Caucasus region is under siege by both Islamic militants and criminal gangs, which stage almost daily attacks. Friday’s violence casts a shadow on both the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, set to be staged in Sochi, and foreign investment in Russian President Dimitry Medvedev’s $15 billion plan to develop five new ski resorts in the region.