Russia has stopped receiving tourists in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, a popular ski resort, in North Caucasus region after a supposed terrorist attack on a tourist mini bus claimed lives of atleast three people on Saturday.
We must stop receiving tourists, Alexander Khloponin, Presidential Envoy to Russia's North Caucasus Federal District, was quoted as saying by local media He urged tour operators to not bring travelers to the Mt. Elbrus during the counter-terrorism operations in the region. Explain to them this is in the name of security, he said.
Suspected Islamist gunmen fired at the bus near the foothills of Mt. Elbrus, Europe’s highest mountain, which attracts over 5000 tourists or skiers annually, Russia's Tourism Union said, while expressing shock over such an incident at Elbrus that is supposed to be the calmest and most peaceful region in the North Caucasus.
According to local media reports, a bomb blast later blew up a ski-lift tower, though no casualties have been reported. Reports of discovery of an explosive-packed car and killing of a police official wrecked havoc on tourists as hotels in the ski resort began to evacuate guests.
The Russian Tourism Union said, that Saturday attack on minibus was the first ever terrorist attack in Russia and situations could get worse in lack of security measures.