Russia says foils plot to attack chemical arms facility

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russian authorities said on Tuesday they had arrested two men from the North Caucasus on suspicion of plotting an attack on a chemical weapons storage and destruction facility.

Investigators believe the suspects planned to build a bomb and attack the Maradykovo facility in the Kirov region, about 1,000 km northeast of Moscow, the federal Investigative Committee said.

The investigators found bomb components as well as "literature with extremist content" in an abandoned house in the area where the suspects, aged 19 and 21, were living, it said.

The committee said the suspects were natives of the North Caucasus, a mountainous, mainly Muslim region in southern Russia where security forces are battling an Islamist insurgency with roots in the post-Soviet wars in Chechnya.

Russia committed to destroying its chemical weapons arsenal by 2012 but, like the United States, missed the deadline.