Moscow: Russia has tightened security across the country in view of the Easter celebrations over the weekend, unwilling to take chances after terror attacks in Moscow and the restive Caucasus region killed over 52 people.
More than 100,000 police and 3,500 interior troops will ensure public security when about five million Russian Christians are expected to attend Easter vigils in 9,000 cathedrals, churches and monasteries and take part in sacred processions around the country on April 3-4, a statement from the Interior Ministry said.
"All public places hosting Easter celebrations will be inspected by bomb experts and K-9 anti-terror units prior to scheduled festive events," it said.
Besides visiting the places of worship, millions of Russians with families visit graveyards on Easter, a tradition which not die even during the Communist regime.
"Our priority is to take all measures to prevent acts of terrorism or extremism during the celebrations," the ministry said.
Before opening graveyards for the general public, they will be thoroughly searched by bomb disposal units. According to local media reports, a crude bomb hidden in a bucket was found in the Kizlyar graveyard.
Security was stepped up after Monday`s suicide attacks on Moscow metro killed 40 people, while a twin bombing in Caucasus region claimed lives of 12 people on Wednesday.
Self-styled `Emir of the Caucasus Emirate` Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov, who took the responsibility for the metro attacks in a video message, warned of further attacks on soft targets in Russia.
Yesterday, during his meeting with leaders of parliamentary parties, President Dmitry Medvedev called for stricter punishment of all individuals involved in terror chain, whatever role they may have in carrying out terrorist acts.