This report from The Moscow News:
BREAKING NEWS – Vladikavkaz rocked by market explosion
The North Ossetian capital Vladikavkaz has been hit by a terrorist attack in a busy market place.
At least 15 people have been killed, the prosecutor’s office told RIA Novosti. Itar-Tass reported that 83 injured people, including at least four children, have been taken to hospitals in the city. Figures remain uncertain, the local emergency minister said, because in the immediate aftermath many victims made their own way to hospitals in search of medical help.
Police in the city say the explosives – equivalent to 25-30 kg of TNT – were detonated at 11:20 am on Thursday near the main entrance to the bustling central Green market on Ulitsa Zanayeva, newsru reported. The bomb was stuffed with nails and metal fragments to create a shower of shrapnel when it exploded.
The explosion left a crater 70 cm deep and 1.5 m in diameter.
The latest information suggests that the blast was triggered by a suicide bomber driving a Gazelle minivan past the market’s entrance. Police have found the headless body of the suspected terrorist in the vehicle, according to the head of North Ossetia Taimuraz Mamsurov.
Read the rest here.
This on the heels of Islamists claiming responsibility for the bombing of a hydroelectric plant in Dagestan. Nobody has claimed responsibility yet for the suicide terror attack, but this is the same marketplace that saw a March 1999 attack that killed more than fofty people, and another bombing in 2008 that killed twelve more.
Most threatening is the report that there were threats against schools in the vicinity of Vladikavkaz. The attack on the Beslan school killed 331 people mostly children.
Also of interest is this comment from Yahoo news:
Islamist militants who call Russians “occupiers” and advocate a sharia-law state in the North Caucasus have vowed to attack “economic targets” inside and outside the Caucasus. They claimed responsibility for suicide blasts that killed 40 people in Moscow’s metro in March.
The deadly conflict between Christian Ossetians and Islamic Ingush has been going on for decades. President Medvedev is apparently no longer willing to make accomodation stating the attack was “criminal activity of bandits with whom there can be no compromise, no truce.” Vladimir Putin has made similar remarks.
We are possibly witnessing a new phase of counterinsurgency, Russian-style. Stay tuned.