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Russia authorities on alert after bomb blast kills seven

Russia authorities on alert after bomb blast kills seven

Russian authorities yesterday vowed to strike back after a bomb blast killed seven people and wounded dozens in the southern city of Stavropol minutes before a Chechen dance concert the night before.
A bomb packed with steel pellets hidden in a juice carton went off near a cultural center as locals were gathering for the performance of a renowned Chechen folk group.
By yesterday morning, the death toll had risen to seven, including a 12-year-old girl, and 33 people remained hospitalized, many in critical condition, officials said.
So far no group has claimed responsibility for the blast but officials said those who did not want peace in the Caucasus would not succeed.
Stavropol, which lies on the northern edge of the Caucasus, has until now rarely seen the bloody attacks that characterize the simmering guerrilla war between Russian forces and separatist rebels.
"This is an audacious provocation," regional governor Valery Gayevsky said in comments released by his administration.
"Someone wants to shake loose the friendly relations between the peoples and republics. These forces do not want peace in the Caucasus. But we will put them in their place," he said.
Chechnya's strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov blamed "Russia's enemies" for the blast.
Russia's top investigator Alexander Bastrykin left for Stavropol to personally oversee the investigation.
Russia is battling a Muslim insurgency in the North Caucasus and terror attacks in the republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan are a near-daily occurrence.
Yekaterina Danilova, an official with the regional investigative committee, said investigators were considering several theories, including terrorism and attemps to stir up ethnic hatred in the predominantly Russian city.
Dolgova said 41 people were injured in the blast.
"We've worked all night," said Danilova, telling reporter that nearly 70 people have already been questioned in connection with the explosion.
In March, Russia was shaken to the core when two female suicide bombers, both from the North Caucasus region of Dagestan, killed 40 people in a pair of coordinated attacks on the Moscow metro during the morning rush hour.


Updated : 2021-03-03 04:27 GMT+08:00