Hundreds protest after deadly Caucasus blast
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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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