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How One Historic Russian City Became a Target for Terrorists

Until this autumn, Volgograd was a relatively quiet Russian city, known best for its legacy as a World War II battlefield. But that changed in October, when a female suicide bomber blew herself up on a city bus, killing six passengers, most of them teenagers.

Now, two back-to-back suspected suicide attacks just ahead of New Year celebrations—a December 29 bombing at the city’s main train station followed by a December 30 trolleybus blast—have claimed more than 30 additional lives and left many to wonder why Volgograd has become an unlikely insurgent target.

With the Winter Olympics less than six weeks away, the security spotlight has been focused on host city Sochi, nestled uncomfortably close to Russia’s volatile North Caucasus republics and their ongoing Islamic insurgency.

Read more. [Image: Reuters/Sergei Karpov]

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