Hundreds protest after deadly Caucasus blast

Last Updated: Saturday, September 11, 2010 - 20:08

Vladikavkaz: Over 300 mainly young
people on Saturday staged a protest outside the main government
building in the Russian Caucasus city of Vladikavkaz where 17
were killed by a suicide bomb blast.

The demonstrators were protesting against the failure of
the authorities to prevent the attack on the main market in
the city, the capital of the Caucasus region of North Ossetia,
a news agency correspondent reported.

They demanded a meeting with Taimuraz Mamsurov, the
leader of North Ossetia which is the the only majority
Christian region in the mainly Muslim Russian North Caucasus.

The protest also had nationalist overtones, as the
Christian Ossetian protesters shouted slogans against the
neighbouring Muslim region of Ingushetia, from where the
suicide bomber is believed to have come.

"If the the police cannot do their task then they should
resign," said one speaker at the demonstration.

"If Ossetia is Russia`s forward post in the Caucasus then
let Russians protect Ossetians from neighbouring regions,"
shouted another.

The protest was not officially sanctioned by the
authorities but a heavy police presence did nothing to prevent
it taking place.

"We demand to close the administrative border with
Ingushetia so that it can save people`s lives," said Vlad
Kolparov, one of the young men protesting.

Mamsurov did not appear to speak to the protestors but
North Ossetia deputy interior minister Soslan Sikoyev came out
to talk to the participants.

The suicide bomber killed 17 and wounded at least 150 in
Thursday`s attack when he drove up to an entrance of the main
market in Vladikavkaz in a white Volga car and detonated his
charge.

The protests came as the grieving relatives gathered
Saturday for the first funerals of 10 of the victims from the
blast.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, September 11, 2010 - 20:08

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