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Vladikavkaz Market Bomb Claims 6 Lives - Dozens Injured

Photo from ntvru.com

: Sergei Ivashko  Photo from ntvru.com

On Saturday an explosion rocked a big market on the outskirts of Vladikavkaz, the capital city of the North Caucasian republic of North Ossetia, killing six and injuring dozens. The Ossetian leadership claims the perpetrators of the terrorist attack want to destabilize the situation in the republic in view of the forthcoming elections in Ossetia.

Saturdays attack was the third bomb attack on a Vladikavkaz market in two and a half years. In the spring of 1999 an explosion on the Central market of North Ossetias capital claimed 57 lives and a year later in a similar attack on the same market 7 died and over 50 were injured.

In 2000 another attack on the same Central market was averted when special services arrested two persons Nikolai Yepryntsev and Igor Miroshkin who were preparing to drive a truck loaded with explosives into the market.

Chief of office of N.Ossetias presidential administration Lev Dzugayev told Gazeta.Ru that the blast occurred on Saturday at 11:35 on Vladikavkaz Falloi.

Investigators say the explosive device contained the equivalent of almost a kilo of TNT. The hand-made bomb was filled with nails and ball bearings, which flew dozens of metres in all directions.

According to the latest reports 6 persons were killed in the blast, and another 66, including some 10 children, were injured. On Monday morning many of injured were still in hospital.

The investigators believe that the blast was probably commissioned by a local criminal group.

The attack was obviously planned to cause maximum injury. Lev Dzugayev explained that usually on weekdays the Falloi market is relatively deserted, whilst on weekends, hordes of town dwellers descend upon the Falloi market to purchase inexpensive goods. Dzugayev added that most weekend shoppers arrive at the market at around 11:00 am for it is located on the outskirts of Vladikavkaz; therefore and most need time to travel there.

Police assume the bombers planted the deadly device on Friday evening. It was planted under a market stall near a fast food vendor, which initially led the investigators to presume that it was a gas cylinder that had exploded.

An official with the Interior Ministrys department in N Ossetia told Gazeta.Ru that immediately after the blast on Saturday the president of N.Ossetia ordered the establishment of a team of operational staff including the chiefs of the republics departments of the FSB, the Ministry for Emergency Situations and the Ministry of Interior to investigate the attack.

It was the special services who immediately took on the investigation into that incident, although initially nothing pointed to the fact that it was a terrorist act, an Interior official emphasized, Parts of the bomb and ball-bearings were found later.

By Monday morning the police detained four persons who they believe are somehow linked to the bombing.

However, the Interior Ministry has emphasized that the detained persons are not suspects, but important sources of information that they would hate too lose due to external factors.

Investigators are presently basing their investigations on two versions: According to the first, Saturdays attack on the Falloi market was in fact an attempt on the life of a certain Dzabiyev, the shadow owner of the market.

However, the acting chief of the Ossetian FSB (Federal Security Service) department Vladimir Krylov, believes the bombing could have been an attempt to turn locals against the president of the republic Alexander Dzasokhov prior to the forthcoming elections in the republic. Krylov presumes that if this is the case, the perpetrators will probably attempt similar attacks.

12 14:29


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