Sunday, July 26, 2009

Suicide attack at Chechen concert!

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A suicide bomb attack at a concert hall in the Chechen capital, Grozny, has killed at least five people and wounded several more, officials say.

Four of those killed were police officers, authorities in the southern Russian republic said.

There has been a recent upsurge in violence in Chechnya, along with the neighbouring republics of Ingushetia and Dagestan.

Correspondents say it is linked to Islamist opposition to Moscow's rule.

Regional officials said the attacker had tried to enter the concert hall minutes before the start of a play.

When police stopped him, he detonated his explosives, killing himself and four police officers immediately. One other person died on the way to hospital, the Itar Tass news agency reported.

A spokesman for the interior ministry said at least 10 people had been wounded, and about 800 spectators inside the hall were evacuated.

The area around the concert hall was immediately sealed off.

Russian forces have fought two wars against separatists in the mainly Muslim republic since 1994.

In April, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the end of a decade-long "counter-terrorism operation", intended to pave the way for the withdrawal of thousands of troops.

But since then several attacks have taken place.

Fighting has also spread to neighbouring Dagestan and Ingushetia, where correspondents say a violent Islamist insurgency is growing.

BBC NEWS REPORT.

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