30 dead in new suicide attack in Chechnya
MOSCOW: Thirty people were killed on Wednesday in a suicide attack in Russia’s breakaway republic of Chechnya, a Chechen minister said, revising upwards a previous toll that put the number of dead at eight, ITAR-TASS reported.
Emergencies Minister Ruslan Avtayev said that another 150 people were wounded in the attack, of which 50 were in a critical condition.
Earlier, Chechen Prosecutor General Vladimir Kravchenko told ITAR-TASS at the scene that eight people were killed when a female suicide bomber blew herself up at a crowded religious event in the eastern village of Iliskhan-Yurt.
Chechen officials had initially put the number of dead at 20.
Meanwhile, Russia’s regional emergencies minister in Chechnya said that the present death toll in a suicide bombing stood at 14 and he denied that 30 had been killed.
“There are 14 people dead, seven died on the spot and seven in hospital. One hundred and forty five have been wounded, 45 of them seriously,” the minister, Ruslan Avtayev, said.
Kravchenko said the explosion took place at around 3:00 pm Moscow time (1100 GMT), in Iliskhan-Yurt, a village some 45 kilometres east of the capital Grozny.
An aide to the chief administrator, Shamsail Saraliyev, told Interfax that most of the victims were elderly people attending the religious event.
ITAR-TASS quoted Chechen interior ministry sources as saying that the attack could have been targeted at the pro-Moscow chief administrator, Akhmad Kadyrov, who was present but escaped unhurt.
“We are still establishing whether there were any other officials among the wounded or dead,” Saraliyev told Interfax.
The blast came 48 hours after a suicide truck-bomb attack on a government building in northern Chechnya that killed at least 59 people — one of the deadliest single attacks since conflict between separatist rebels and federal troops broke out in October 1999.—AFP