Suicide truck bomb kills 14 in Russia

Author: By Shamsudin Bokov, Associated Press

The bombing was the deadliest for months in Russia’s south and dented Kremlin
claims to be stabilizing the North Caucasus region, where 15 years of
separatist fighting in Chechnya has increasingly spilled into surrounding
provinces.

The attacker rammed the gates of the local police headquarters in the city of
Nazran in Ingushetia and detonated his explosives as police officers lined
up for a morning check, said Kaloi Akhilgov, a spokesman for the regional
president.

At least 14 people were killed and 58 were wounded, said Svetlana Gorbakova of
the regional branch of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor
General’s office. She said there were at least nine children among the
wounded.

The attacker and the truck, which carried at least 44 pounds (20 kilograms) of
explosives, were pulverized by the blast, Gorbakova said. The police
building was on fire and nearby apartment buildings were badly damaged.

An Associated Press reporter saw 11 badly burned bodies at a morgue in Nazran,
the largest city in Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya to the west.

While large-scale fighting from the two wars that ravaged Chechnya since 1994
has ended, Islamic militants continue to mount regular hit-and-run attacks
and skirmishes. Bloodshed has surged in recent months and increasingly
spilled into Chechnya’s neighbors.

Ingushetia and other provinces in the region have been destabilized by
shootings, bombings and other attacks by militants targeting police and
government officials.

Ingushetia’s Kremlin-appointed president, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, was badly
wounded in a bombing in June and hasn’t yet returned to his duties.

In a statement issued through his spokesman, Yevkurov said Monday’s suicide
attack had been organized by militants trying to avenge recent security
sweeps in the forests along the mountainous border between Chechnya and
Ingushetia.

“It was an attempt to destabilize the situation and sow panic,”
Yevkurov said.

Speaking in an interview with Russian News Service radio, Yevkurov blamed
Chechen separatist warlord Doku Umarov for staging June’s suicide attack on
his convoy. He said law enforcement had tracked down the perpetrators of the
attack and pledged that they will hunt down Umarov and other rebel warlords.

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