Suicide bomb kills 16 in Russia

10.09.10

Suicide bomb kills 16 in Russia

Эксперты МГИМО: Муханов Вадим Михайлович, к.ист.н.

A suicide bomber detonated explosives packed into a car outside a busy market in the volatile North Caucasus region Thursday, killing at least 16 people and injuring more than 100, officials said.

The blast in Vladikavkaz occurred just before noon, when market activity was at its peak. A slow-moving sedan pulled up near the market’s front gate and exploded, overturning cars and kiosks, and shattering windows in nearby houses, said Samir Sabatkoyev, spokesman for the Interior Ministry of Russia’s North Ossetia republic. Vladikavkaz is the republic’s capital.

The body of the bomber was found inside the charred remains of the vehicle, he said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. But late Thursday, Alexander Bortnikov, chief of Russia’s Federal Security Service, said three suspects had been detained.

Russian authorities have been battling an insurgency for years among the region’s patchwork of nationalities, many of them predominantly Muslim. Experts say attacks have intensified recently despite declarations by law enforcement agencies that the movement has been crushed and its leaders killed.

Vadim Mukhanov, a senior researcher with the Caucasus Studies Center at Moscow State Institute of Foreign Relations, said the Kremlin’s bet that authoritarian local leaders could keep control of the region was not playing out.

«Special services and law enforcement organs seem to be incapable of dealing with a mass of subversive acts and attacks, which are definitely on the rise all over the region," he said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin condemned the attack.

«We will do our best to catch… these scoundrels who committed a terrorist act against ordinary people," Interfax news agency quoted Medvedev as saying.

Madina Gagloyeva, 44, said she had returned from the market minutes before the attack, heard the blast and saw the chaos unfold from the window of her home nearby.

«There was a lot of smoke and dust, cars were overturned and smoking, and at least one car was burning," Gagloyeva said. «People were screaming and running around the cars, some were sitting or crawling, some bodies were lying on the street.»

The explosion occurred only four days after a similar attack in the nearby republic of Dagestan in which a suicide car bomb exploded on the testing grounds of a Russian military base near the town of Buynaksk, killing four soldiers and injuring 35.

The attack Thursday was the fifth at or near the market in Vladikavkaz since March 1999, Interfax said. Seventy-five people were killed in the previous four attacks.

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Источник: Los Angeles Times
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