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09 September 2010

Russian Caucasian city rocked by suicide bombing; 15 killed

2.jpgIn an upsurge of militancy in Russia's Muslim dominated Caucasus, a suicide bomber rammed his car into a central market in Vladikavkaz, the capital of of North Ossetia, killing 15 people and wounding more than 100

In one of the worst terror attacks in the volatile region, the attacker exploded his explosive-laden car near the gate of the market, Interfax quoted the local Emergency Situations Ministry.

Officials said at least 15 people, mostly labourers looking for daily jobs, were killed on the spot including the suicide bomber and more than 130 people injured.The casualty figures could go up as the condition of more than 80 people rushed to hospital was reported to be critical.

The market and its neighbouring areas have been the target of several bomb attacks in recent years in which scores of people have been killed.A spokesman for the SKP investigation agency of the prosecutor's office said the power of the explosive device was equivalent to 30-40 kg of TNT.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin described today's terror attack as an attempt to sow hatred among the citizens of Russia, while President Dimitry Medvedev sent his top official to coordinate help for the victims.

Putin who had a meeting with Russia's Chief Mufti Ravil Ghainuttdin told him "we have no right to allow this".Staff at a nearby hydroelectric power station found explosives in what appeared to be a bid to blow up the plant, Ria Novosti reported.

The agency said that makeshift explosive device was found while fire drill was being observed at Irganaiskaya power plant in Dagesten. The officials found the bomb underneath the main hydroelectric unit.

Vladikavkaz, the capital of the Russian republic of North Ossetia, has been less plagued y violence than other neighbouring Islamic republics in the region such as Chechnya and Dagestan.

The city was a scene of a school siege in 2004 when Chechen terrorists took hundreds of school children hostage, a siege that ended in a bloodbath of more than 330 people, half of them children.

The capital's market was bombed in 1999 which took a toll of 55. Another bombing in 2001 killed six and a bomb blast hit a mini bus in 2004, killing 11.


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