5 detained on suspicion of planning violent protests after this weekend's elections in Moldova

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Moldovan prosecutors are questioning five people suspected of planning violent protests after parliamentary elections this weekend, amid concerns that Russia may try to gain greater influence in the country.

Deputy police chief Gheorghe Cavaliuc said authorities found pistols, grenade launchers, military uniforms, plans to attack unnamed institutes and large sums of money during house searches Wednesday morning.

Pro-European parties, ahead in the polls, face parties that seek closer relations to Russia in Sunday's ballot.

Authorities say they have identified 15 suspects, Moldovan and Russian, who are members of an outlawed Russian-backed organization that is planning unrest after the elections if pro-European parties win.

The General Prosecutor's office said a university professor suspected of recruiting students and an officer with access to classified information and weapons were among those questioned.