Russian Caucasian city rocked by suicide bombing; 17 killed

A suicide bomber rammed his car into a central market in Vladikavkaz, killing at least 17 people and wounding more than 100.

Updated: Sep 09, 2010, 21:00 PM IST

Moscow: In one of the deadliest terror
attacks in Russia`s Muslim dominated Caucasus, a suicide
bomber on Thursday rammed his car into a central market in
Vladikavkaz, the capital of of North Ossetia, killing at least
17 people and wounding more than 100.

The attacker exploded his explosive-laden car near the
gate of the market, Interfax quoted the local Emergency
Situations Ministry.

Officials said at least 17 people, mostly labourers
looking for daily jobs, were killed on the spot including the
suicide bomber and more than 130 people injured.

The casualty figures could go up as the condition of
more than 90 people rushed to hospital was reported to be
critical.

The bomber was identified as a man named Archiyev,
while the car owner, a man named Dobriyev, was detained, RIA
Novosti reported quoting police, who said the owner of the car
is being interrogated.

No one has has claimed responsibility for the bombing.
The market and its neighbouring areas have been the
target of several bomb attacks in recent years in which scores
of people have been killed.

A spokesman for the SKP investigation agency of the
prosecutor`s office said the power of the explosive device was
equivalent to 30-40 kg of TNT.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin described today`s
terror attack as an attempt to sow hatred among the citizens
of Russia, while President Dmitry Medvedev sent his top
official to coordinate help for the victims.

Medvedev vowed to destroy the masterminds of the terror
attack and said, "We will do our best to track down those
beasts who committed the terrorist act against ordinary
people, a heinous terrorist act."

"We will do everything to find them and punish them
in accordance to our country`s law, and destroy them if they
offer resistance," he said in his televised conversation with
North Ossetian president Taimuraz Mamsurov.

Putin who had a meeting with Russia`s Chief Mufti
Ravil Ghainuttdin told him "we have no right to allow this".
He announced ex gratia relief of 1 million
roubles (USD 33,000) to the bereaved families.

Meanwhile, staff at a nearby hydroelectric power station
found explosives in what appeared to be a bid to blow up the
plant, Ria Novosti reported.

The agency said that makeshift explosive device was
found while fire drill was being observed at Irganaiskaya
power plant in Dagesten. The officials found the bomb
underneath the main hydroelectric unit.

Vladikavkaz, the capital of the Russian republic of
North Ossetia, has been less plagued by violence than other
neighbouring Islamic republics in the region such as Chechnya
and Dagestan.

The city was a scene of a school siege in 2004 when
Chechen terrorists took hundreds of school children hostage, a
siege that ended in a bloodbath of more than 330 people, half
of them children.

The capital`s market was bombed in 1999 which took a
toll of 55. Another bombing in 2001 killed six and a bomb
blast hit a mini bus in 2004, killing 11.

PTI